U.S. waives sanctions on Nord Stream 2 as Biden seeks to mend Europe ties (Source Reuters)
The Biden administration waived sanctions on the company behind Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany and its chief executive, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday, a move decried by critics of the project in Congress.
A State Department report sent to Congress concluded that Nord Stream 2 AG and its CEO, Matthias Warnig, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, engaged in sanctionable activity. But Blinken immediately waived those sanctions, saying that it was in the U.S. national interest. The decision came as the Biden administration seeks to rebuild ties with Germany, after relations deteriorated under Republican former President Donald Trump. The waivers have no specific end date, but can be rescinded by the secretary of state. “Today’s actions demonstrate the administration’s commitment to energy security in Europe, consistent with the President’s pledge to rebuild relationships with our allies and partners in Europe,” Blinken said in a release, issued as he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Iceland for an Arctic Council conference. Russia’s state energy company, Gazprom, and its Western partners are racing to finish the pipeline to send natural gas under the Baltic Sea.