The United States is increasing its pressure to stop work on the near-completion Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Germany and Russia. The Biden government reportedly imposed sanctions on a Switzerland-based company overseeing the construction, but immediately lifted them.
A congressional report stated that the US State Department believes that sanctions may be imposed on companies involved in the construction, but Biden would have decided to lift the sanctions immediately for national security reasons, according to a congressional report. Informed sources against Bloomberg News.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas admits that the report talks about sanctions against a number of parties, but also talks about presidential exemptions for Nord Stream 2, and he is already seeing a concession by the Americans if Washington abandoned sanctions. This may sound like “a constructive step, which we would like to continue discussing with our partners in Washington,” he read in Berlin today.
Relying on Russia
The Biden government maintains that the exemption can be revoked, putting pressure on Germany. According to the United States, the pipeline makes Europe more dependent on Russian gas, giving Moscow greater leverage in Western Europe. That would be at the expense of safety.
Republicans in Congress are unhappy with Biden’s alleged concessions. They feel that “this kind of weakness” only feeds Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression and that the Russians are not paying for their “sinister” activities.
Penalties for affected companies
Most of the pipeline has already been completed, but there is still much disagreement about it. Work in the German region has been on hold for months, despite an announcement earlier this week that work may continue. Washington has also consistently threatened to impose sanctions on companies that cooperate in construction. Several companies participate in Nord Stream 2, including the Shell Oil and Gas Group.
Also, European countries such as Poland and Ukraine are strongly opposed to this project. On the contrary, the German government states that the gas pipeline provides a direct and safe supply of energy. With Nord Stream 2, gas supply capacity from Russia to Germany will double.
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