Talks on Nord Stream 2

Angela Merkel says she wants to talk with the United States' new government about a long-running row over the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline.

Talks on Nord Stream 2
dpa

Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she wants to talk with the United States' new government about a long-running row over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline connecting Russia to Germany."We have to talk about which economic relations in the area of gas are acceptable with Russia and which aren't," Merkel told reporters in Berlin.

Merkel pointed to the fact that the US also trades with Russia in oil.The US says the nearly complete Nord Stream 2 pipeline will increase Europe's energy dependence on Russia and has targeted the project with sanctions.Proponents of the pipeline have accused Washington of merely being interested in selling its own liquid gas to Europe.Merkel stressed that her position on Nord Stream 2 has "not yet changed" and called the sanctions "not okay."

While the Nord Stream 2 dispute is far from resolved, Merkel said her government nonetheless had a lot of common ground with US President Joe Biden, who was sworn into office on Wednesday.Reflecting on the presidency of his predecessor, Donald Trump, Merkel said: "There is simply a far broader scope for political consensus with President Biden."German-US relations plummeted to a low point under Trump, who repeatedly lashed out at Germany over its defence spending and trade surplus, among other issues.Merkel said Biden's actions since taking office already showed that he is more closely aligned with Berlin.

So far, the veteran Democrat has signed orders to rejoin the Paris climate accord, end a travel ban from several Muslim-majority countries and halt Trump's withdrawal from the World Health Organization.Merkel promised Biden a stronger role from Germany and the European Union on the international stage."All in all, Europe will take on greater responsibility, not only militarily but also in the diplomatic realm and on many other issues," she said."The good news is: We in Germany and ready and the European Union is also ready," she added.