Germany: US reversal on Nord Stream 2 sanctions 'constructive'

Germany: US reversal on Nord Stream 2 sanctions 'constructive'
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German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Wednesday applauded the Biden administration’s decision to waive sanctions against those involved in the Nord Stream 2, a pipeline controlled by a Russian company that would traverse through Germany.

On Tuesday Axios reported that the State Department would be waiving sanctions on pipeline to avoid punishing German entities involved in the nearly completed project.

“We perceive this to be a constructive step,” Maas said on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.

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Maas added that Germany and the U.S. would discuss how to maintain this waiver for the next three months, at the end of which the State Department is required to issue another report to Congress regarding sanctions.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline would bring natural gas from Russia into Germany. The U.S. has long opposed this project, the AP notes, arguing that it threatens European energy security and hurts allies like Poland and Ukraine by bypassing them.

During his confirmation hearing earlier this year, Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenBiden walks fine line with Fox News Blinken to travel to India, Kuwait next week Biden announces delegation to attend Haitian president's funeral MORE said, “I am determined to do whatever we can to prevent [the pipeline’s] completion.”

When he was in D.C. in April, the interparliamentary delegation chair for the European Union, Radosław Sikorski, called on the U.S. to sanction the Nord Stream 2.

“I made the point that if the U.S. imposes sanctions they should be effective,” Sikorski told The Hill at the time.

“I've been opposed to Nord Stream 2 for a long time, from the beginning ... when I was out of office and even before office, when we — before I left office as vice president. But that still is an issue that is in play," Sikorski, the former foreign minister for Poland, added.