Stop the construction of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline: anyone who takes part in it will end up under US sanctions. Joe Biden’s United States drops an ultimatum on Putin’s “geopolitical project” and cornered Angela Merkel’s Germany. Europe at the crossroads
Other than step back. Joe Biden hits Russia again, this time with a harsh warning to Europe: the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that connects Germany to the Baltic Sea does not have to be completed. “This conduit is a Russian geopolitical project that wants to divide Europe and weaken European energy security”, reads a note from the State Department led by Anthony Blinken.
“As the president said, Nord Stream 2 is a very bad deal – for Germany, for Ukraine and for our allies and partners in Central and Eastern Europe. The Department is monitoring efforts to complete Nord Stream 2 and is gathering information on entities that appear to be involved ”.
A real cleaver that hits Germany’s Angela Merkel. There, on the beaches of Greifswald, the last stretch of the Russian gas pipeline operated by the state-owned gas giant Gazprom is expected to end, along 1200 kilometers. “The sanctions that Congress approved in 2019 and expanded in 2020 enjoy broad support from a bipartisan congressional majority – continues the vitriolic Foggy Bottom statement – the Biden administration is committed to implementing that law. The Department reiterates the warning that any entity included in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline risks US sanctions and should immediately abandon work on the pipeline “.
The ultimatum from Washington DC signals an acceleration of the diplomatic crisis between the United States and Russia after Biden in an interview with the ABC called Putin “a killer” promising that “he will pay” for interfering in the presidential elections, declarations which Moscow responded by recalling its ambassador.
In February, a new package of US sanctions hit the project, prompting some of the companies involved in the construction of the pipeline, including the Swiss Zurich Insurance Group, to suspend or abandon the works. The German government has not yet dissolved the reservation on the continuation of construction and in recent weeks it has been discovered split on the issue.
The Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has already announced that the Nord Stream II blockade could be part of a new round of sanctions against the Kremlin for the Navalny case, and Chancellor Merkel herself has recently opened to a possible interruption. Among the most determined supporters is the former chancellor of the SPD Gerard Schröder, now a member of the Board of Directors of Nord Stream 2. In recent months, the European Parliament has also intervened on the matter, asking with two resolutions to suspend work on the Russian pipeline from the Baltic Sea.