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After Waiving Sanctions Nine Months Ago, Biden Sanctions Russian-Owned Company Behind Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

After announcing new sanctions during a press conference on Tuesday, President Biden released a statement on Wednesday regarding additional sanctions on the Russian-owned company behind the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

This news comes around nine months after Biden waived sanctions against the company, run by Matthias Warning, a personal friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a former Stasi agent in East Germany.

“Since Russia began deploying troops to the Ukrainian border, the United States has worked closely with our Allies and partners to deliver a strong, unified response. As I said when I met with Chancellor Scholz earlier this month, Germany has been a leader in that effort, and we have closely coordinated our efforts to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia further invaded Ukraine,” Biden said in a statement.

“Yesterday, after further close consultations between our two governments, Germany announced that it would halt certification of the pipeline. Today, I have directed my administration to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its corporate officers. These steps are another piece of our initial tranche of sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. As I have made clear, we will not hesitate to take further steps if Russia continues to escalate,” the statement continued. 

“Through his actions, President Putin has provided the world with an overwhelming incentive to move away from Russian gas and to other forms of energy. I want to thank Chancellor Scholz for his close partnership and continued dedication to holding Russia accountable for its actions,” Biden added.

“The Biden administration has waived sanctions on a company building a controversial gas pipeline between Russia and Germany,” BBC News reported in May 2021. “The US also lifted sanctions on the executive — an ally of Russia’s Vladimir Putin — who leads the firm behind the Nord Stream 2 project.”

“A State Department report sent to Congress concluded that Nord Stream 2 AG and its CEO, Matthias Warnig, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, engaged in sanctionable activity,” Reuters reported at the time. “But Blinken immediately waived those sanctions, saying that it was in the U.S. national interest.”

In January, Biden’s State Department spokesperson Ned Price stated that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will “not move forward” if Russia invades Ukraine, as reported by The Daily Wire:

“I’d make two points here. No. 1 – gas is not currently flowing through Nord Stream 2, and that’s important because it means that Nord Stream 2 right now is not operational,” Price said.

“It is leverage for us. It is leverage for Germany. It is leverage for the trans-Atlantic community because gas is not flowing. To be clear, it is not leverage for Vladimir Putin,” he added.

In addition to addressing the current status of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Price noted the project will not move forward if a Russian invasion of Ukraine takes place.

Additional sanctions announced by Biden earlier this week included full blocking sanctions against two Russian financial institutions, and efforts to cut off the Russian government from Western debt, financing, and markets. This would prevent Russia from raising money from the West, and could be strengthened if necessary, Biden argued.

Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.

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