The US State Department pushed for sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline operator Nord Stream 2 AG and its head Matthias Warnig, while US President Joe Biden refused, fearing to spoil relations with Germany. On Tuesday, June 15, the newspaper reports. The Washington Post with reference to sources close to the question.
According to them, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, his deputy Wendy Sherman and Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland spoke out in favor of imposing sanctions.
In addition to Biden, high-ranking representatives of the National Security Council spoke out against the introduction of restrictive measures, saying that the sanctions could spoil relations with Berlin, the newspaper’s interlocutors said.
The publication notes that the White House considers the 90% built Nord Stream 2 as a fait accompli, so it sees no point in endangering US-German relations.
On May 20, the United States announced that it had abandoned the imposition of sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG. However, then the United States imposed sanctions against Russian organizations and vessels under the Nord Stream 2 project.
On May 26, Biden called the restrictive measures at this stage against the gas pipeline a counterproductive step for relations with Europe, since the project is almost completed.
On June 7, Blinken, speaking at a hearing in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives, called the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline a fait accompli. He also noted that the introduction of sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG could “poison” relations between Washington and Berlin and would deprive Germany of incentive for further negotiations.
Nord Stream 2 is being built from Russia to Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea with the aim of direct and reliable gas supplies to Europe. The EU countries mainly support the project and participate in its implementation. The Baltic states, Poland, Ukraine and the United States are opposed.