Biden demands Russia not manipulate natural gas for ‘harmful political purposes'

President’s statement comes after he made an agreement with Germany to allow the controversial Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline to be completed.

Updated: October 31, 2021 - 6:31pm

President Biden said at the G20 summit in Rome that Russia cannot be allowed to manipulate natural gas for political reasons.

In a weekend meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Biden emphasized the importance of implementing "the U.S.-Germany Joint Statement on Support for Ukraine and European Energy Security, to ensure that Russia cannot manipulate natural gas flows for harmful political purposes," according to the White House.

The day of the meeting, a German pipeline operator said the flow of natural gas stopped in the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which Russia uses to transport gas from Poland to Germany, according to Reuters.

Gazprom reportedly said Saturday that its European clients were having their natural gas needs met, The Hill reported.

While some European lawmakers and the International Energy Agency have said Gazprom is failing to adequately boost its natural gas supply to Europe, the company has argued that it is meeting its requirements, according to Reuters.

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the U.S. for the European gas shortages, as he said its decrease in supplies "is the cause of the panic," The Hill reported.

In July, Biden announced an agreement with Germany to allow the controversial Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline to be completed.

"While we remain opposed to the pipeline, we reached the judgment that sanctions would not stop its construction and risked undermining a critical alliance with Germany, as well as with the EU and other European allies," a senior State Department official said at the time.

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