Biden green light for Nord Stream 2 pipeline is ‘pathetic attempt to appease Putin’, Republicans say
The Biden administration is expected to drop the US’s longstanding opposition to a new natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany as early as today, prompting a swift response from top Republicans.
“This is a terrible mistake, one that is being contested by both parties in Congress. It’s just another example of Joe Biden’s pathetic atonement for Vladimir Putin,” Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton told Fox News on Wednesday.
In addition to “costing” American jobs, Cotton claims the move will make Russia more powerful and “seriously undermine our allies and partners in Eastern Europe, such as Poland and Ukraine, who are now apparently pressuring Joe Biden to remain silent.”
Senator Ted Cruz said on Twitter that it amounted to Biden’s “total surrender” to Putin.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas told Fox News the decision is a “terrible mistake” that would hurt both Ukraine and US jobs
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the pipeline would give Russia ‘huge influence’ over Germany’s energy sector
Officials in Washington and Berlin have reportedly reached an agreement that would allow the Nord Stream 2 pipeline — which was about 100 miles after completion by June — to complete construction.
US officials under Presidents Obama and Trump opposed the pipeline, arguing that it would strengthen Moscow’s influence across Europe.
The pipeline would also allow Germany to bypass an existing natural gas route through Ukraine by doubling the volume of the gas exported directly from Russia to Germany – weakening the former Soviet state’s weak position in the region.
Nord Stream already has one pipeline running from Russia to Germany. Both are owned by a company whose majority shareholder is the Russian state gas company Gazprom.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline neared completion when Biden took office (photo under construction in November 2018)
When completed, the pipeline would allow Germany to bypass an existing natural gas route through Ukraine by doubling the volume of gas exported directly to Germany (workers in Russia pictured on the pipeline’s construction in June 2019)
Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox Business on Wednesday that the Biden administration’s abrupt policy change is a “terrible tragedy” that benefits only two parties — Russian oligarchs and German elites.
“It undermines the Ukrainians, it undermines our friends in Poland, it undermines the United States and NATO. Now the Russians are going to have a huge influence on German energy,” Pompeo said.
“Imagine in a time of conflict when things go wrong – imagine what the Russians would do with that.”
He accused Biden of giving an “energy lifeline to the Russians.”
Prominent Republicans have criticized Biden’s turnaround after years of opposition in the US, citing concerns that it could influence Vladimir Putin’s (right) influence in Germany (Chancellor Angela Merkel, pictured left) and the rest of East and Central Europe significantly enlarged.
Officials familiar with the deal told the Wall Street Journal that measures to cushion Ukraine’s financial blow would also be part of the US-Germany agreement.
Some of that reportedly includes vague measures to ensure Russia continues to pay about $3 billion in transit fees to the country annually under a current agreement lasting through 2024.
The White House reaffirmed its commitment to Ukraine’s “energy security” in a statement Wednesday after reports of the deal emerged, and announced Biden’s plan to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the White House on Aug. 30.
The White House released a statement reaffirming its commitment to Ukraine’s “energy security”. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy (right) visits the White House on August 30
“The visit reaffirms the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in light of Russia’s continued aggression in the Donbas and Crimea, our close cooperation on energy security,” said press secretary Jen Psaki. .
Senator Marsha Blackburn and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley both hinted at hypocrisy in Biden’s decision to shut down the US Keystone XL pipeline, but gave the green light to Russia’s Nord Stream 2.
“Joe Biden has given jobs to Russian pipeline workers and has taken away the jobs of American Keystone Pipeline workers,” the Tennessee Republican wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Haley said Biden “gifted” the pipeline to Putin.
“Biden has killed thousands of American jobs by shutting down Keystone XL and hurt our energy independence, but now he is making Russia rich,” said the former Trump administration official.
Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn Alluded to Hypocrisy in Biden Administration Decision
Nikki Haley, another former Trump official, accused Biden of killing US jobs as he ‘made Russia rich’
Ohio Democratic Representative Marcy Kaptur also joined Republicans in criticizing the deal — though she avoided naming Biden herself.
A Democratic lawmaker also joined in to criticize the deal, but avoided naming Biden.
“I stand with our allies in Central and Eastern Europe against Nord Stream 2. Congress must reject all deals that fail to protect Ukraine’s transatlantic security and sovereignty,” Ohio Representative Marcy Kaptur tweeted.
Biden met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House last week where they discussed Nord Stream 2 and the topic of “Russian aggression.”
“While I have reiterated my concerns about Nord Stream 2, Chancellor Merkel and I absolutely agree in our belief that Russia should not use energy as a weapon to coerce or threaten its neighbors,” Biden said at Thursday’s press conference after their announcement. meetings.
Biden and Merkel discussed both the pipeline and ‘Russian aggression’ at a meeting on July 15
When it was Merkel’s turn, she said she and Biden “have come to a different assessment than what this project entails.”
“But let me say very clearly, our idea is and remains that Ukraine remains a transit country for natural gas, that Ukraine is entitled to territorial sovereignty just like any other country in the world,” she said.
“We should take active action if Russia does not respect this right of Ukraine that it has as a transit country,” she continued.
“So Nord Stream 2 is an ancillary project and certainly not a project to replace some transit through Ukraine, anything else would of course create a lot of tension,” the German chancellor added.