The United States and Germany are expected to announce in coming days a deal resolving their long-standing dispute over Russia's $11 billion Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.
A deal is now in sight after discussions among U.S. and German officials about U.S. concerns that the pipeline, which is 98% complete, will increase Europe's dependence on Russian gas, and could rob Ukraine of the transit fees it now collects on gas pumped through an existing pipeline.
An agreement would avert the resumption of currently waived U.S. sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG, the company behind the pipeline, and its chief executive.
Details were not immediately available, but the sources said the deal would include commitments by both sides to ensure increased investment in Ukraine's energy sector to offset any negative fallout from the new pipeline, which will bring gas from the Arctic to Germany under the Baltic Sea.
"It's looking good," said one of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are still ongoing. "We expect those conversations to reach resolution in coming days."
A second source said the two sides were nearing an agreement that would assuage concerns raised by U.S. lawmakers, as well as those of Ukraine, Reuters reported.