REVIEW - US, Germany Commit To Ukraine Security, Energy Independence

REVIEW - US, Germany Commit to Ukraine Security, Energy Independence

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 22nd July, 2021) The United States and Germany issued a joint statement in which they affirmed their support for Ukraine's sovereignty and energy independence from Russia having announced earlier they had reached a deal on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

"The United States and Germany are steadfast in their support for Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and chosen European path. We recommit ourselves today to push back against Russian aggression and malign activities in Ukraine and beyond... We support the energy security of Ukraine and Central and Eastern Europe," the statement said on Wednesday.

The two countries expressed their determination to hold Russia accountable for its alleged "aggression and malign activities" by imposing costs such as implementing sanctions should Moscow attempt to use energy as a geopolitical weapon against Ukraine.

The United States and Germany also said they will use the US-EU High Level Dialogue on Russia - established in June - as well as bilateral channels to prepare the appropriate tools and mechanisms needed to respond jointly to Russia should it engage in aggression and malign activities.

In addition, Germany vowed to take action at the national and European Union levels in case Russia uses energy as a weapon or takes aggressive actions against Ukraine.

The United States and Germany also committed to helping Ukraine negotiate an extension of its gas transit fee agreement with Russia. Germany announced it will appoint a special envoy to help negotiate an extension of the agreement for at least ten years starting no later than September 1. The existing agreement is set to expire in 2024.

Earlier on Wednesday, a senior US State Department official said the United States and Germany will do everything they can to support Ukraine in its negotiations. The official noted that Germany has particular leverage at a time prior to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline becoming operational.

"Our goal is to prevent Ukraine from losing any transit revenues for as long as possible. Right now, they have an agreement until 2024, and the extension will take them beyond that," the official said.

However, numerous US lawmakers has expressed doubts about the commitment to assist Ukraine. Senator Ted Cruz questioned Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland in a congressional hearing on Wednesday morning about whether any officials had threatened Ukraine to go along with the US-Germany agreement. Both Nuland and a senior State Department official denied knowledge of any officials engaging in such behavior.

US AND GERMAN SUPPORT FOR GREEN ENERGY IN UKRAINE

Washington and Berlin also announced the launching of the US-Germany Climate and Energy Partnership in the statement seeking to foster collaboration on green energy initiatives. One of the pillars of the partnership will be a focus on energy transitions away from Russia in Eastern and Central Europe.

"As part of the US-Germany Climate and Energy Partnership, we have decided to establish a pillar to support the energy transitions in emerging economies. This pillar will include a focus on supporting Ukraine and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. These efforts will not only contribute to the fight against climate change but will support European energy security by reducing demand for Russian energy," the joint statement said.

Part of the efforts include establishing a Germany-administered Green Fund for Ukraine and Berlin donating an initial $175 million.

Germany and the United States said they hope to promote and support investments of at least $1 billion to develop hydrogen energy, accelerate the transition away from coal and foster carbon neutrality in Ukraine.

Germany also vowed to provide a 60 million euro package to support Ukraine's energy security through electrical grid integration and modernization.