President Joe Biden lifted Nord Stream 2 sanctions to entice Germany’s government to cooperate in safeguarding Ukraine from Russian aggression, the president said Thursday alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
During the joint press conference at the White House, the president reiterated his “view on Nord Stream 2 has been known for some time” but added, “Good friends can disagree.”
“By the time I became president, it was 90% completed, and imposing sanctions did not seem to make any sense,” he continued in the ornate East Room. “It made more sense to work with the chancellor on finding out how she would proceed based on whether or not Russia tried to essentially blackmail Ukraine in some way.”
Biden said both he and Merkel asked their “teams to look at practical measures we can take together and whether or not your energy security, Ukrainian security, are actually strengthened or weakened based on Russian actions.”
Biden waived sanctions, originally enacted by the Trump administration, against companies helping Russia complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in March 2021. Merkel’s government heartily petitioned Biden to do so, as the country relies on Russia to supply natural gas.
Earlier in the press conference, the German leader told reporters the entire European Commission negotiated with Russia and Ukraine to extend the natural gas contract through 2023.
“We have a number of instruments at our disposal, which are not necessarily on the German side. But on the European side,” Merkel said through a translator of possible malign Russian activity in the energy industry. “At this point in time, I hope we will never have to make those decisions.”
You can watch Biden and Merkel’s full press conference below.
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Original Author: Christian Datoc