US President: Nord Stream 2

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The new US government wants to review Trump's sanctions against the pipeline.

US President: Nord Stream 2

Even under the government of the new US President Joe Biden, Germany has to prepare for resistance against the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. “The president continues to believe that Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal for Europe,” said new White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki at her daily press conference Tuesday. Psaki also said US measures against the pipeline would be reviewed by the new administration.

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Biden will consult with the European partners on this issue. When asked, Psaki did not provide any information as to whether Nord Stream 2 was the subject of Biden’s phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel the day before. The Chancellor said last week that she wanted to speak to the new US administration about the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline.

The administration of the Republican US President Donald Trump had punished a company for the first time last Tuesday – her last full day in office – for participating in the construction of the pipeline on the basis of the sanctions laws against Nord Stream 2. The Russian company KVT-RUS was affected. Its laying vessel “Fortuna” was classified as “blocked property” by the US State Department. The announcement said the US would consider further punitive measures in the near future.

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The penalty against KVT-RUS was imposed on the basis of the Caatsa Sanctions Act (“Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions”). Caatsa allows the president to impose sanctions under certain conditions. Separately, with broad support from both Republicans and Democrats, the US Congress passed two laws that could penalize companies related to the construction of the pipeline. Democrat Biden cannot change anything about these laws on his own initiative.

The USA accuses Germany of making Europe, with the almost completed pipeline between Russia and Germany, too dependent on Russian energy supplies. Proponents of the pipeline, on the other hand, accuse the US of only wanting to sell their own liquefied gas better in Europe.

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