Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Construction of Nord Stream 2 is accelerating. The US is silent on sanctions


US President Joe Biden is silent on sanctions, while construction of Nord Stream 2 is accelerating. The new US administration is looking for a balance between its aversion to the gas pipeline and its desire to improve relations with Germany, assesses the Brussels website Politico.

Russian ships are working on completing the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline running from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea as soon as possible. So far, US President Joe Biden has resisted pressure to impose sanctions on this project – writes the portal.

Speaking on Friday at the virtual edition of the Munich Security Conference, the American leader did not mention the pipeline, although he warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin “seeks to weaken the European project and our alliance with NATO.”

Putin wants to undermine transatlantic unity and our determination, because it is much easier for the Kremlin to intimidate and threaten individual states

– quotes the president of the USA Politico.

However, as the portal points out, Biden is not yet following the demands of US Congress members to impose additional sanctions on the pipeline.

This does not mean that Biden has deviated from Washington’s skeptical attitude towards the project, but – as we read in the Politico article – The new US administration is trying to mend relations with Germany after four years of Donald Trump’s rule, so there is reluctance to block companies implementing the project.

In this context, the portal recalls the words of German Chancellor Angel Merkel that Nord Stream 2 is a business, not a political venture.

He also cites a statement by Republican Senator Jim Risch confirming receipt of the State Department’s report on the construction. He complained that the document did not contain any new information since the departure of the Donald Trump administration.

I am deeply concerned and disappointed by the report of the State Department on the activities of Nord Stream 2 and the decision not to impose additional sanctions on other entities involved in its construction

– we read in a statement by Republican Senator Jim Risch.

The slow actions of the State Department – plus a leaked document indicating that Germany last year offered to build terminals to receive U.S. liquefied natural gas if Washington does not impose any sanctions on NS2 – sparked rumors of a possible deal between Washington and Berlin.

At the same time, the portal points out that Biden has time to make a decision, as construction of the pipeline will not be completed in weeks, but rather months.





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