Germany, U.S. hold talks in Washington on Nord Stream 2, Berlin says

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German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas gives a statement before a virtual meeting of NATO Foreign and Defence Ministers in Berlin, Germany, June 1, 2021. Bernd von Jutrczenka/Pool via REUTERS

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BERLIN, June 1 (Reuters) - Germany and the United States are holding talks in Washington to try to resolve a row over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Tuesday.

"As you know, talks are currently being held between the German government and the administration in Washington," Maas told reporters, adding Berlin had an interest in reaching agreement with the U.S.

"This will be the topic of the talks in Washington," Maas said without giving further details. "I am confident that we will succeed in finding a way, even though it will certainly not be easy and may not happen quickly."

Germany's Funke Media Group reported on Monday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had sent two of her top aides to Washington to prepare a compromise deal on Nord Stream 2 ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Europe in mid-June.

Russia's Gazprom (GAZP.MM) and its Western partners are racing to finish the Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea. The project, now about 95% complete, would bypass Ukraine, potentially depriving it of lucrative transit fees and undermining its struggle against Russian aggression.

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Reporting by Sabine Siebold Editing by Madeline Chambers

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