Germany’s promise to help extend Russia’s gas transit agreement with Ukraine is merely a promise to try. History has shown that no Russian assurance granted in negotiations can be trusted. Moscow will have little incentive to negotiate an extension, especially once Nord Stream II is completed.
Finally, the planned “green fund” for Ukraine, even if fully funded, has no guarantee of success, nor is it clear that a Ukrainian energy transition is supported by Ukrainians themselves.
Nord Stream II is a geopolitical Trojan horse, one that Moscow wants to heave across the finish line before German elections in September. There is no magical fix that pleases all—only the cold reality of what is in the U.S. national interest: ending Nord Stream II.
The U.S.-German accord is a hollow and dangerous diplomatic gesture. It ensures the completion of Nord Stream II without giving the transatlantic community the tools needed to deter and punish the Russian energy coercion that is sure to come.