State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Wednesday that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will “not move forward” if Russia invades Ukraine.
Price made the comment during an interview with NPR’s Ari Shapiro on Wednesday regarding the escalation along the border between the two nations.
“I’d make two points here. No. 1 – gas is not currently flowing through Nord Stream 2, and that’s important because it means that Nord Stream 2 right now is not operational,” Price said.
“It is leverage for us. It is leverage for Germany. It is leverage for the trans-Atlantic community because gas is not flowing. To be clear, it is not leverage for Vladimir Putin,” he added.
In addition to addressing the current status of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Price noted the project will not move forward if a Russian invasion of Ukraine takes place.
“Second point – and I want to be very clear – if Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward, and we want to be very clear about that,” he added.
When asked whether the pipeline gives America “enough leverage,” Price deferred to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Well, there’s only one person who can decide whether this is the path of dialogue and diplomacy that we pursue or it’s the path of defense and deterrence, and that’s Vladimir Putin,” he said.
“We have done everything we can to signal in meaningful and sincere ways that dialogue and diplomacy is what we prefer,” Price added.
There is some concern, however, whether the State Department’s claim that Nord Stream 2 would not move forward is sufficient.
According to the National Review, “the German pledge to impose sanctions on Russia in the event of a coercion campaign is vague, and it’s uncertain what leverage it would have in negotiations over Ukraine’s energy contract after 2024, the final year of the current contract.”
The effort of Germany to not move forward on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine could mark a stronger stand than the nation has currently shown. Germany was mocked for only promising to provide 5,000 helmets this week in a searing response from the mayor of Kyiv.
Despite diplomatic efforts to stop Russia from invading Ukraine, the State Department has already instructed its staff to “leave now.” The Daily Wire on Wednesday reported:
As tensions in Ukraine rise due to a possible military conflict with Russia, the United States Embassy is officially advising all Americans in the Eastern European nation to leave the country either via commercial travel or private means.
The U.S. Embassy released a statement Wednesday morning telling Americans that “the security situation in Ukraine continues to be unpredictable due to the increased threat of Russian military action and can deteriorate with little notice.”
As a result, the government encouraged “U.S. citizens in Ukraine to consider departing now using commercial or other privately available transportation options.” The embassy also noted that “U.S. citizens wishing to depart Ukraine currently have multiple options via commercial flights from all Ukrainian international airports.”
“If you have difficulty securing a flight or need assistance to return to the United States, please contact KyivACS@state.gov for guidance,” the government advised. “The Embassy remains open and able to process U.S. passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad and can also provide repatriation loans for U.S. citizens who cannot afford at this time to purchase a commercial ticket to the United States.”