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 has reportedly imposed sanctions on the Swiss-based company overseeing the construction. But it was also discontinued immediately.
A Congressional report stated that the US State Department believes that sanctions should be imposed on companies involved in construction. But Biden would have decided, for national security reasons, to lift the sanctions immediately, according to insiders from Bloomberg News.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas admits that the report mentions sanctions against a number of parties, as well as presidential concessions on Nord Stream 2.
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 do not pay for their “malicious” activities.
Most of the pipeline has already been completed, but much controversy remains. 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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