The United States has warned Europe about going into an agreement with Russia on a new natural gas pipeline. According to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, the natural gas pipeline set to stretch from Russia to Germany can be considered a “fairly bad deal.”
Europe Needs Russia
Biden further warned that relying on Russia for energy could be harmful to the European continent. According to the official, to seal Europe “into greater reliance on Russia at this moment … will fundamentally destabilize Ukraine.” Nonetheless, Biden did say that European leaders are free to make their own decisions about the matter.
According to US News, Russian energy giant Gazprom and the EU entered an agreement the previous year about creating a new pipeline that will function run parallel to an existing twin pipeline Nord Stream 1.
Following his meeting with the Swedish Minister Stefan Lofven in Stockholm, Biden informed reporters that Russian gas “can and should be” part of the European market. Nonetheless, he added, “But that market needs to be open and needs to be competitive. Everyone has to play by the rules.”
“No country should be able to use energy as a weapon … to coerce policies from other nations,” Biden cautioned.
Reliance Is Necessary
According to Forbes, prior to the reconciliation between Turkey and Russia, there were hopes that Europe would look for other energy sources and avoid Russian dependence. However, this could change, since Ankara and Moscow have been on good terms recently following the failed coup in Turkey and reconciliation between the leaders of the two nations.
Depending on Russia could be tricky the same way the United States has been relying on the Middle East. However, it is the easier alternative, still.