US President Joe Biden believes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a bad deal for Europe and will make a determination on whether sanctions are in order to stop the project from Russia to Germany, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday.
According to Reuters, the Biden administration is conducting a review of the gas pipeline project. Psaki said Biden has been clear that Nord Stream 2 is a “bad deal for Europe.”
The Wall Street Journal also reported that the Biden administration is in the process of analyzing US policy on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline — which bypasses Central Europe and Ukraine by running under the Baltic Sea — in order to decide whether to impose further sanctions or lift present restrictions.
The US administration is keen to improve relations with Germany as much as it wants to stop the Nord Stream 2 project.
In Congress, there is a consensus in favor of prolonging and even strengthening US sanctions against Nord Stream 2. Recently, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Jim Risch argued that whenever “Russian infrastructure appears in a NATO member state, it becomes a threat for all component parts of the alliance. Relations with Germany are key for the transatlantic alliance, but allowing Nord Stream 2 to be completed is not a constructive development of our partnership.”
The deadline for the publication of a report listing companies engaged in the construction, insurance and certification of the pipeline will land this week. The publication of this document is a precondition to impose sanctions on the companies involved in the project.
It is not inconceivable that there will be a twist in the ongoing Nord Stream 2 saga and current sanctions will be lifted. This outcome could occur if Germany agrees to install a mechanism for stopping gas flowing through Nord Stream 2 in any situation in which Russia attempted to use the pipeline politically. Such a security package has been considered.
Nord Stream 2 as a project is in the balance, and its future is still in the hands of the current US administration.