But Germany has argued that completing Nord Stream 2 is vital for its energy security, and Russia sees the pipeline as a way to expand its influence across Europe while generating revenue.
Amid negotiations between Washington and Berlin over the project, US officials quietly urged their counterparts in Kiev to refrain from publicly criticizing the potential pact – warning that such dissent could harm Washington-Kiev relations.
Biden first invited Zelensky to the White House last month, ahead of Biden’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva. At the time, Zelensky criticized the Biden-Putin meeting and berated the United States for lifting sanctions related to the construction of Nord Stream 2.
Biden responded by speaking with Zelensky before sitting down with Putin, assuring him of America’s “unwavering commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine” in the face of Russian aggression. In that conversation, Biden also invited Zelensky to visit the White House this summer.