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Germany could consider cooperating with Russia in renewable energy to defuse the tension between Moscow and the West over Ukraine, German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Robert Habeck, told Der Spiegel magazine in an interview.
“We should also think about new business areas that can help lead both sides out of this confrontational position,” Habeck told the German magazine in the interview published on Friday and quoted by Reuters.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to hold talks on Friday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over the Ukraine issue.
On Thursday, Secretary Blinken was in Berlin for meetings with the top German officials, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.
“Appreciative of the important opportunity to meet in Berlin with our European Allies about the ongoing Russia-caused crisis with Ukraine. We are all committed to supporting Ukraine and its people in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions,” Secretary Blinken said on Thursday.
German foreign minister Baerbock called on Russia on Thursday to step back from further escalating the tension with Ukraine.
“We urgently demand that Russia takes steps towards deescalation. Any further aggressive behaviour or aggression would result in serious consequences,” Baerbock said.
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Germany has yet to give the go-ahead to the Russia-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. But earlier this week, Berlin indicated that it could refuse to approve the project if Russia invaded Ukraine.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz indicated on Tuesday that if Russia does attack Ukraine, Germany’s response could include stopping the pipeline, adding that it was “clear that there will be a high price to pay and that everything will have to be discussed should there be a military intervention in Ukraine.”
While Germany says it is prepared to do whatever it takes to keep Russia from invading Ukraine, the U.S. Senate voted this week against levying sanctions on Nord Stream 2, despite some senators’ insistence that Russia is using the pipeline and natural gas flows—or lack thereof—as blackmail.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.