“I have been opposed to Nord Stream 2 from the start,” Biden said on Tuesday of the pipeline, which is slated for completion this summer and intended to provide Europe with a sustainable gas supply while giving Russia greater access. direct to the European market. .
“But it was almost over by the time I took office,” Biden added. “And to go ahead and impose sanctions now I think would be counterproductive in terms of our European relations and I hope we can work on how they handle this from now on.”
The decision to let the pipeline run unimpeded – indicating that the administration favors unity with its allies over fears of a potential geopolitical threat – could also increase tension between the White House and Democratic lawmakers, many of whom oppose Nord Stream 2.
There was an intense back-and-forth over the decision and in the process, the State Department prepared an assessment of what steps would have been needed to shut down the pipeline, although the administration decided not to. go this route, a source familiar with the process. told CNN at the time.
He decided that shutting down the pipeline was not worth blowing up the relationship with Germany given the many national security issues the two countries are working on together, the source said. The second source familiar with the situation said the decision was ultimately the White House’s appeal.