The appointment of potential ambassadors indicates a new strategic focus by the management. The White House previously assigned European Affairs experts at the National Security Council and the State Department to handle the diplomatic pipeline. Officials told POLITICO, it is unanimous that the prickly geopolitics surrounding Nord Stream 2 now require more particular attention, especially as the pipeline, which is almost 96 percent completed.
It is also a nod to the pressure campaign from Capitol Hill, where senators from both sides have pushed for the Biden’s administration to effectively upset the pipeline before it’s too late. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) quickly asserted about Biden̵7;s senior State Department nominee as part of the effort, and other senators have called. Called the administration to accelerate sanctions targeting entities involved in the construction of the pipeline as required by law.
In a recent private meeting, Cruz pressed Biden’s choice Victoria Nuland to head the State Department’s Office of Political Affairs about the possibility of appointing an ambassador to handle the matter, according to two people familiar with. The conversation (The senator’s office declined to comment.)
Cruz’s efforts, though steadily growing, have an impact. Last month, Republicans in Texas released the nomination for CIA Director William Burns after Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Publicly pledged to shut down gas pipelines.
“The [State] The department warned that any agency involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is at risk of US sanctions and should immediately abandon the pipeline, “Blinken said.
But one U.S. official familiar with the matter argued the administration was already dragging its feet. The Justice Department gave legal signings last month for at least two sanctions packages targeting Nord Stream 2 AG, the company responsible for planning the construction and subsequent operation of the gas pipeline. And Matthias Warnig, CEO of the official company. But the package has not been implemented yet and it remains to be seen that the administration will include Nord Stream 2 AG and Warnig on the list of authorized entities that need to be made available to Congress in the month. Page or not
Some officials, however, are wary that the diplomatic appointment could actually be counterproductive and delay sanctions against Nord Stream 2 by telegraphing to Germany and Russia that the US is open to some form of reconciliation. But a Democratic Senate aide told POLITICO that Hochstein’s nomination for the role would be “welcomed” by Democrats. “Amos should have been a great person for this position,” said the assistant. Note his “good reputation” and worked on similar issues during the Obama administration.
While it is unclear what the exact order and parameters of the ambassadors will be, the role, at least initially, will be focused on managing sensitive negotiations on how to disrupt the gas pipeline without causing it. Key US ally in Berlin It could then expand to tackle more broader international energy issues, as Hochstein was doing at the State Department under Obama said two people involved in the discussions.
The diplomatic situation was very sensitive, officials said. The administration wants to hinder Moscow’s energy use – Biden calls it “A bad deal for Europe” – but it wants to strengthen US ties with Germany, which lobbying Washington to keep the pipeline construction going. “We are between a rock and a tough place,” officials said. The chief executive said last month.
The German government has made several possible proposals for the United States to lay off people familiar with the discussions, including trade deals and increase investment in green energy projects in Europe and Ukraine.
But U.S. lawmakers from both sides have argued that, regardless of whether the Germans attempted a deal with Washington, the pipeline would place Russian infrastructure in NATO territory and result in its member states becoming. Threats It would also make some European countries more reliant on Russian energy, lawmakers insist while depriving Ukraine of billions of dollars by allowing Russia to avoid the country when transferring gas to Europe.
“[C]Russia’s retaliation for deadly aggression lies in the vital national security interests of NATO, all EU members and our allies in Eastern Europe, ”said Bob Menendez, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (DN.J.). And Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (DN.H.) Wrote in a letter to Blinken late last month, “We cannot ignore this important principle as we engage in diplomacy on the pipeline.”