Russia: Biden's ‘threat of limited magnitude’ says Brenton
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While Mr Biden originally opposed Nord Stream 2, he has reportedly changed his mind after a request by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel before she left office last year. Nord Stream 2 is the pipeline that will transit gas from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea, bypassing Poland and Ukraine. The Biden Administration waived the US sanctions on the pipeline back in May, citing “national interests”.
But the 79-year-old has been torn apart for “taking orders from Germany”.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham wrote on Twitter: “A reminder that the Democrats support Nord Stream 2 because they take orders from Germany.”
And now, the US may have no choice but slap sanctions back down on the pipeline.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has agreed to hold a vote by January 14 on the Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s Nord Stream 2 bill.
The legislation would impose pipeline sanctions within 15 days.
And a presidential move to lift or waive them would be subject to a Congressional vote.
This would be good news for Mr Biden’s opponents.
Republican Jim Banks said: “Joe Biden has been in one year the friendliest US President toward Russia in my lifetime.
“He lifted the sanctions on the Nord Stream  pipeline.
“That is what Putin and Russia were begging America to do, and Joe Biden did it.
“All of our European allies see that message loud and clear as American weakness.”
This also comes as Russia looks poised to invade Ukraine, with reports that over 100,000 Russian troops have piled up at the Russia-Ukraine border.
Several US Senators have claimed the new bill would harm relations with Germany at a time when it needs its help to put pressure on Mr Putin.
Senator Chris Murphy said: “The Cruz amendment would make a Russian invasion more likely.
“There’s no sense to be sanctioning the new German government when they have just switched their position to finally put the pipeline on ice.”
But Omri Ceren, Natsec Advisor to Mr Cruz was baffled by these claims. He wrote on Twitter: “Wait hold on.
“The Biden admin’s new argument is there’s a US-German united front vs. Russia and Nord Stream 2 sanctions would endanger it.
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“When they brainstorm their foreign policy talkers do they even go as far as to check foreign news? Do they need help with Google Translate?”
And Mr Ceren was not the only one.
Republican Congressman Byron Donalds posted: “On day 1, Biden killed 11,000 American jobs by cancelling the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
“Not even a year later, the Biden administration is lobbying against sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
“This President is destroying American energy independence.”
This also comes after the Biden administration originally called for the pipeline to be scrapped when new German Chancellor Olaf Sholz took office.
Jake Sullivan, Mr Biden’s Security Advisor, warned that the West could use the pipeline as leverage over Russia.
He said: “It is leverage for the West.
“If Vladimir Putin wants to see gas flow through that pipeline, he may not want to take the risk of invading Ukraine.”
But critics say that the pipeline is actually leverage for Russia.
Professor Tracey German, from Kings College London, told Express.co.uk last month: “Gazprom and Russia still have considerable leverage over Europe.
“Russia is happy to exploit vulnerabilities, such as over-reliance on it as a supplier of natural gas, to achieve its own objectives.
“Europe has long been aware of the dangers of over-reliance on a single supplier such as Russia.”
Olexander Scherba, a chief advisor at Ukraine gas giant Naftogaz, told
Express.co.uk last month that Mr Putin could put the EU in an energy chokehold because of Nord Stream 2.
He said: “The pipeline connecting Russia and the West running through Ukraine was a major factor stopping Putin from undertaking any full-blown aggression so far.
“If this pipeline for some reason becomes unnecessary or expandable, it is one reason less for Putin to be reasonable.
“But also, Putin knows for sure if he attacks then Nord Stream 2 will be shut down, but if it is operational Putin can get Ukraine in an energy chokehold.”
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