Biden invites Zelensky as Nord Stream II plan emerges
The White House announced that it had invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to visit on Aug 30. Zelensky will meet U.S. President Joe Biden, and the trip is meant to “affirm the United States’ unwavering support” for Ukraine, whitehouse.gov published on July 21.
High on the agenda will be energy security. The meeting comes as the Biden administration and Germany announce an agreement regarding the completion of the Nord Stream II pipeline. The deal has drawn political condemnation in Washington, Berlin, Warsaw, and Kyiv, politico.com reported on July 21.
James Hydzik: The issue of the completion of Nord Stream II has been covered in the press extensively for years. The consequences are also well known. What has gotten lost in the noise of the last few days has been the potential repurposing of Ukraine’s GTS for transporting hydrogen.
The Politico report pointed to environmental issues, such as cheaper Russian gas, via Nord Stream II, replacing dirtier coal. However, an analyst in it also pointed to this massive argument over, effectively, a legacy fuel, as “insane”, and with the prospect of a) weaning Europe off dirtier fuels, b) weaning Ukraine’s government off of Russian payments (and thus, blackmail), and c) creating a massive clean fuel production industry within Ukraine itself - one just as strategic in transmission terms as the current GTS, then pushing green hydrogen in Ukraine must become a refrain in Washington, Berlin, and Kyiv.