Biden Ends Trump's Sanctions
Bloomberg reports U.S. Calls Effort to Halt Nord Stream 2 Pipeline a Long Shot
The Biden administration said stopping Nord Stream 2 is a long shot now that the gas pipeline from Russia to Germany is more than 90% complete, a shift in tone that came as the U.S. held off on sanctioning the company overseeing its construction.
In a report to Congress on Wednesday, the State Department said that Nord Stream 2 AG and its chief executive Matthias Warnig are engaged in sanctionable activity under U.S. law but that the administration will waive penalties for national security reasons.
Nord Stream 2 Q&A
Q: What is Nord Stream 2?
A: A natural gas pipeline between Russia and the EU. It will bypass a Ukraine bottleneck and instead go under the Baltic Sea.
The pipeline was 90% complete with Trump objecting every step of the way while placing huge obstacles.
The irony is that instead of EU contractors building the pipeline, Russian contractors built it and got paid for it.
National Security Nonsense
Trump placed the sanctions on Russia over the pipeline citing national security.
In reality, his primary focus was to get the EU to buy US liquid natural gas at a much higher price than the EU can get from Russia.
Biden reversed Trump's national security lie with a lie of his own, also based on national security concerns.
Curiously we placed and removed the same sanctions out of national security concerns.
Opposition Unwavering? Security Threat?
“Our opposition to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is unwavering,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Wednesday.
“Completion of this pipeline poses a threat to U.S. security interests and the stability of our partners in the region,” Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire said in a statement. “The administration should uphold its commitment to Congress. Every option available to prevent its completion should be utilized.”
Biden Under Fire
The Biden administration has decided to waive sanctions against the company overseeing the construction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, despite bipartisan opposition in Congress and appeals from Eastern European governments.
Republican lawmakers immediately accused the administration of handing Russian President Vladimir Putin a major political victory. Democrats urged the White House to reconsider, and the Kremlin called the news a "positive signal."
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, denounced the decision in a scathing statement.
"I am opposed to the decision by the Biden administration to waive sanctions on NS2 AG and Matthias Warnig. I urge the administration to rip off the Band-Aid, lift these waivers and move forward with the congressionally mandated sanctions," Menendez said.
- The decisions "demonstrate the Administration's commitment to energy security in Europe, consistent with the President's pledge to rebuild relationships with our allies and partners in Europe," Blinken said in a statement.
- He added that the administration would continue to oppose the completion of the pipeline: "Our opposition to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is unwavering."
We have an unwavering opposition to the pipeline but we removed sanctions to support the EU's commitment to energy security.
Does that make any sense?
Not Our Decision
Can someone please cite genuine national security concerns?
Please don't tell me Russia might invade Germany.
Even if one can mumble some nonsense, the fact of the matter is this is the EU's decision to make.
What Biden Should Have Said
- We removing the sanctions because Trump had no business placing them in the first place.
- Merkel argues that it is a commercial matter for Germany and we agree.
- The US will no longer attempt to dictate policy for the entire world by force.
- We stated our objections, but ultimately this was not our decision any more than it be the EU's decision to object to the US buying oil from Mexico.
Instead, Biden fabricated a bunch of conflicting nonsense and in the process took it from both sides.