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Putin says Nord Stream 2 pipeline nearing completion

Putin says Nord Stream 2 pipeline nearing completion
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Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinFormer Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting Hillicon Valley: NATO members agree to new cyber defense policy | YouTube banning politics, elections in masthead ads | 50 groups urge Biden to fill FCC position to reinstate net neutrality rules MORE said Friday that finishing touches on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline are imminent, an announcement that comes soon after the U.S. announced it will waive some sanctions on the company.

Putin said the pipeline, which is set to deliver gas to Germany, has completed laying pipes for the pipeline’s first line and that the second line will be completed over the next two months, Reuters reported.

"I think it should be completed especially given that the new U.S. administration speaks of its intention to build up good relations with its key partners in Europe," Putin said at a St. Petersburg forum, according to the news service. "How can you build good relations with your partners and neglect their interests? This is a nonsense."

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Putin added that pipeline company Gazprom is set to begin filling the pipeline’s first line once the German government signs off.

The Biden administration confirmed it would waive certain sanctions on Gazprom in May, reportedly after officials determined it was not possible to prevent its completion without imposing sanctions on German entities.

"It’s almost completely finished,” Biden told reporters last month. “To go ahead and impose sanctions now, I think is counterproductive in terms of our European relations.”

Congressional Republicans have blasted the administration’s decision, accusing the White House of capitulating to Russia with the move.

The pipeline will allow Russia to bypass Ukraine, potentially isolating the former client state from allies in Europe. A group of Republican senators, led by Sen. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerGOP senator introduces constitutional amendment to ban flag burning Trump dismisses climate change, calls on Biden to fire joint chiefs Putin says Nord Stream 2 pipeline nearing completion MORE (N.D.), has introduced legislation that would reimpose the sanctions in question.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week Sanders drops bid to block Biden's Israel arms sale Sanders push to block arms sale to Israel doomed in Senate MORE (D-N.J.) has also expressed misgivings about the decision, saying, "The administration has said that the pipeline is a bad idea and that it is a Russian malign influence project. I share that sentiment, but fail to see how today’s decision will advance U.S. efforts to counter Russian aggression in Europe."