Handelsblatt: Scholz offered the US a secret Nord Stream 2 deal

Handelsblatt: Scholz offered the US a secret Nord Stream 2 deal

The current Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz, being the Minister of Finance in 2020, offered the USA to conclude a secret deal to prevent sanctions against the Russian gas pipeline “Nord Stream – 2”, which was under construction at that time. This is reported by Handelsblatt with reference to internal documents of the Ministry of Economy, which appeared in the possession of the newspaper.

According to the newspaper, together with Scholz, the deal was “pushed through” by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Manuela Schwesig. All three, as Handelsblatt writes, are now ardent supporters of Ukraine, “but only a few years ago they were promoting a project diametrically opposed to the security interests of that country.”

According to internal documents from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Scholz, Steinmeier and Schwezi influenced the administration of then US President Donald Trump (2017-2021), especially Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, to prevent US sanctions against Nord Stream 2.

In particular, Scholz sent a letter to Mnuchin in the summer of 2020 calling for the investment of €1bn from German tax deductions in receiving terminals for liquefied natural gas on Germany’s northern coast. To do so, he demanded that the United States lift sanctions on the Russian pipeline, but the White House rejected the proposal outright.

The former head of the United States, Donald Trump, was a vocal opponent of the construction of the pipeline, imposing sanctions against it. However, current US President Joe Biden, according to court-ordered documents provided by the German Ministry of Economic Affairs to the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) newspaper, made serious concessions to the German authorities on the construction of Nord Stream 2. Biden perceived the pipeline project critically, but was aimed at finding a compromise with the German leadership, the publication noted.

Sanctions against “Nord Stream – 2” Biden introduced: 23 February 2022, against the background of events in Ukraine, the operator of the pipeline Nord Stream 2 AG and its executive director Matthias Warnig fell under the restrictions. By this point, the pipeline had already been built, but Germany had suspended its certification.

Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 were blown up in September 2022. Of the four strings of the two pipelines, one survived. President Vladimir Putin accused the US of sabotaging the pipelines. Washington denied these accusations.

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