What Happened: U.S. President Donald Trump is pressuring Germany to drop support for the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project with Russia in exchange for talks on a new trade deal with the United States, The Wall Street Journal reported May 17. The pipeline would allow Russia to ship natural gas to Germany directly.
Why It Matters: The United States is opposed to the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project because it would increase Moscow's influence in Europe. In addition, the United States has threatened to sanction European companies that help build the pipeline.
Background: Russian natural gas company Gazprom has proposed building the pipeline, splitting the European Union between countries willing to work with Gazprom, such as Germany, and others, such as Poland, that are unwilling.
- EU: Russia Wins a Battle in Its War of Pipelines (March 7, 2018)