In the debate about the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline, the US says it is about to reach an agreement with Germany.
The two states have agreed to take sanctions against Russia should Russia's gas pipeline be used to harm Ukraine or other Eastern European countries, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
A corresponding agreement is expected for Wednesday.
However, the US retained the right to apply further sanctions on a case-by-case basis in accordance with US law, one of the insiders said.
With the agreement, the resumption of the sanctions imposed by the US Congress against Nord Stream 2 AG and its managing director will be averted for the time being.
President Joe Biden lifted the measures in May to give both sides time to negotiate.
Germany should participate in funds for Ukraine
Germany has also agreed to participate in a new $ 1 billion fund to help Ukraine move to cleaner energy sources and improve its energy security, one of the two insiders said.
Last week Merkel's visit to the White House brought us closer to our common goal of "preventing Russia from using energy flows as a weapon," said US State Department spokesman Ned Price on Tuesday. Merkel had admitted differences with Biden in Washington. However, both agreed that Ukraine must remain a transit country for Russian natural gas - even after Nord Stream 2 went into operation.
The controversial pipeline through the Baltic Sea is said to bring more Russian gas to Western Europe.
The billion-dollar project is 98 percent complete and, according to Nord Stream 2, will be put into operation this year.
Both Eastern European countries and the USA criticize the pipeline.
America fears that Europe will become more dependent on Russian gas and economic damage to the traditional transit countries for Russian gas, especially Ukraine.
Nevertheless, after taking office in January, Biden positioned himself against imposing sanctions on the companies involved in Nord Stream 2.
“When I became president, the pipeline was 95 percent complete.
Sanctions made no sense ”, he justified the move last week.
Instead, he decided to work with Germany.