The United States does not rule out the use of energy by Russia as a weapon.
This was stated by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at a joint press conference with Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, UA reports.
He stressed that the United States is closely monitoring the Kremlin’s actions. And so far it is not believed that Russia has crossed the line when we can say that Moscow uses gas as a weapon.
“We are watching Russia use gas positively or as a weapon. The Russian Federation can meet Europe’s energy needs, as it does with the Ukrainian pipeline. If the events of the past are repeated, it will cause us serious concern and will mean that Russia still uses gas as a weapon” – Blinken said.
He reminded that there was a joint statement of the United States and Germany on Nord Stream-2. It is about energy security and efforts to strengthen Ukraine’s position.
Ukraine’s foreign minister disagreed with his US counterpart and said the Kremlin was already using gas as a weapon.
“What we see is that Russia is already using gas as a weapon. And we are waiting for action from Germany, because it has leverage over the Russian Federation. The commitments made by the United States and Germany in signing a joint agreement on Nord Stream 2 are very clear. And Russia must receive a clear signal not only from Washington and other capitals, but also from Berlin – that it will not benefit from this game” – Kuleba said.
The day before, Ukraine and the United States signed a new Charter on Strategic Partnership. This document determines for 10 years in which areas the relations between the two countries will develop. In it, the United States pledged to uphold Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, including the Russian-occupied Crimea. The new Charter contains a number of differences from the previous one. They are connected with new realities, first of all with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The document reinforces US support for Ukraine’s aspirations for NATO and the European Union. The Charter provides for the expansion of bilateral cooperation to strengthen security in the Black Sea region and strengthen energy security.
To remind, the United States held consultations on the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border.