“Time is running out here to get something done before the pipeline is finished,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (DN.H.), a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations and Armed Services, said Thursday. That we need to act quickly “
The pressure campaign escalated on Friday when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) suspended the final assertion of CIA Director William Burns. President Joe Biden’s nomination sharply delayed the vote to pressure the Biden’s administration to impose further sanctions.
“I will remove the suspension when Administrator Biden fulfills a legal obligation to report and punish Putin̵7;s ships and oil pipeline companies,” Cruz wrote on Twitter on Friday.
The dynamics on the slopes have made the White House diplomatic. The comprehensive goal of the new administration is to show a more united front with Germany and the rest of Europe against Russian aggression. But Germany is keen to see the pipeline complete as it will offer cheaper alternatives to natural gas, meaning the United States could anger its key allies if Congress demands sanctions.
“We very much want to restore our relationship with Germany after the previous administration was abused for four years,” a senior executive said, “but Congress did not move. We are between a rock and a hard place. “
“A bad deal for Europe”
Biden himself publicly called the pipeline. The “bad deal for Europe” and sanctions on the project continued through an interagency process, although not as fast as some lawmakers would like. Stopping Nord Stream 2 is a bipartisan priority. Congress members argued that the completion of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin would be strengthened at the expense of Ukraine and other US allies.
On the last day, the Trump administration planned to take the most action to punish German authorities for their role in the program, the former official said. Those entities included Nord Stream’s German CEO Matthias Warnig and German ship Krebs Geo, but eventually they never did, instead penalizing only Russian pipelines Fortuna and owners of KVT-RUS.
The State Department upheld those designations in a report to Congress last month. But it hasn’t taken any further action – angered both Democrat and Republican lawmakers who said the administration was mandated by the law to identify and punish any and all entities involved. Pipe construction, which is now In total at least seven Russian ships
Shaheen and Cruz co-wrote provisions in an annual defense bill that imposes penalties for those involved in pipeline construction. Shaheen joins Idaho Sen with Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, in the Pressured Biden last month to implement that provision.
The State Department briefed Senate Foreign Relations Committee officials on executive positions in Nord Stream 2 last week and will do it again next week, according to a Senate aide. But officials said they did not learn anything new during the briefing and the senators themselves said they were still not in the cycle.
You won’t like the Germans when they’re angry.
Several current and former officials say the heart of the problem is how to stop the pipeline without weakening relations with Germany, Foreign Secretary Antony Blinken is trying to rebuild Washington’s ties with Berlin. After four years of neglect and contempt from former President Donald Trump’s administration. Relations have deteriorated dramatically under Trump, where German Prime Minister Angela Merkel said in 2018 that Europe could no longer rely on the United States and “take its fate in its own hands.”
Amanda Sloat, director of the European National Security Council, has warned the insider not to move too quickly about further sanctions on Nord Stream as the administration tries to repair U.S. ties with Germany.
A former national security official near the White House captured the general sentiment: “A lot of the people in the government felt the Germans were being seriously hurt and they wanted to get that relationship back. time”
The chief executive, however, noted that critics should question why the Trump administration is not doing more to stop the pipeline in the four years in power.
“The pipeline is 95 percent complete and the Trump administration has absolutely failed to do anything about it when they have the opportunity,” said the official. They are insisting that it is our fault. The same former officer is spreading conspiracy theories about secret conversations. The only conversation the Biden management had with the Germans in Nord Stream 2 was to make our opponents clear. ”
At the end of January, after speaking with Germany’s Foreign Minister Blinken Heiko Maas, their position had remained unchanged. But, he said, relations with the United States seem to be improving. “I have to get used to the fact that I talk to my American colleagues over the phone, and we agree on almost every point,” he told Reuters. This before “
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) Said that while he “supported” the boycott effort, he was “very uncomfortable for the United States and Europe to split up on this matter.”
“I think the US and Europe’s ability to collaborate on Chinese policy is more important than our policy on Nord Stream 2,” said Murphy, a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee. There must be a way to get back on the same page with Europe, and my hope is that the Biden administration will be able to have a more productive relationship on the energy issue with Europe than Trump does. ”
Play in the hand of russia
But other current and former officials say the risks of letting the pipeline complete and taking advantage of it could upset Russia over Europe and NATO, which outweighs the short-term angry consequences of Berlin. And they argue that if Germany is willing to go ahead with the project, even though Russia continues to show aggression in eastern Ukraine, there is little evidence that Germany will honor its commitment to maintaining certain gas transportation. Section through Ukraine even after the pipeline was completed.
Nord Stream 2 will allow Russia across Ukraine to transport Russian gas to the EU via the Baltic Sea. Construction will deprive Kyiv of significant revenue, which Ukrainian officials say is to the point.
“The main motive for Russia is sanctions on Ukraine,” Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Economy, Trade and Agriculture Taras Kachka told POLITICO last month. To use energy as a tool for political pressure and blackmail “
The Biden administration imposed new sanctions on Russian officials earlier this week to counter the poisoning and incarceration of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, and further sanctions are expected for Russia’s malicious activity around the world in Over the next few weeks, however, Biden has resisted far more than his predecessors in imposing new sanctions against Nord Stream’s construction-related authorities, which current and former officials argue is the most effective method. One of the cuts to Putin’s bad behavior
“A bet in the heart of Nord Stream 2 can be made and will drain billions from Putin’s coffers,” said Ryan Tully, who is Trump NSC’s senior director of European and Russian affairs.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) Led a group of 40 Republican senators in a letter to Biden on Wednesday, expressing deep concerns about the administration’s refusal to impose sanctions on the authorities concerned. With Nord Stream II pipes “
Risch said he spoke with State Department officials Thursday about Nord Stream 2, but was disappointed.
“I don’t want to go any further,” he told POLITICO, a Risch spokesman later said. “There is no new information about [Nord Stream 2] Called up “