Germany and the United States have announced a deal to allow the completion of a controversial Russian gas pipeline to Europe without the imposition of further US sanctions.
The agreement on Nord Stream 2, announced on Wednesday, says Germany and the US commit to countering any future Russian attempt to use the pipeline as a political tool.
The two states also agreed to support Ukraine and Poland, which construe the project as a security threat, by funding alternative energy and development projects.
In a joint statement, the two governments said they were "united in their determination to hold Russia to account for aggression and malign activities by imposing costs via sanctions and other tools" - referring largely to Russian support for separatists in Ukraine.
There are long-held concerns that Nord Stream 2 could give Russia too much power over European gas supplies, or allow gas to be shut off to Russia's adversaries.
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