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Biden greenlighting Nord Stream 2 pipeline is ‘pathetic attempt to appease Putin,’ Republicans say


The Biden administration is expected to drop the US’s years-long opposition to a new natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany as early as today, earning swift backlash from top Republicans.

‘This is a terrible mistake, it’s a mistake that’s opposed by both parties in Congress. It’s just another example of the pathetic appeasement of Joe Biden for Vladimir Putin,’ Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton said on Fox News Wednesday.

On top of ‘costing’ American jobs, Cotton claims the move empowers Russia and ‘badly undercuts our allies and partners in Eastern Europe like Poland and Ukraine, who Joe Biden is now apparently pressuring to stay silent.’

Senator Ted Cruz said it amounted to Biden’s ‘total surrender’ to Vladimir Putin on Twitter. 

Cruz also tweeted: If you’re Putin & you want to thank Biden for his multi-billion $ gift of Nord Stream 2, you can ask an oligarch to buy a $500K Hunter Biden painting.

‘Paying more than 3 TIMES what a Picasso just sold for ($150K). And the White House will keep it secret!’ 

Biden has promised he would be tough on Putin following a series of ransomware attacks on US businesses and infrastructure.

But Republicans believe dropping opposition to the pipeline is a national security threat and will undermine the energy independence of the United States. 

Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton said on Fox News that the decision is a ‘terrible mistake’ that would harm both Ukraine and jobs in the US

Former State Secretary Mike Pompeo said the pipeline would give Russia 'enormous influence' over Germany's energy sector

Former State Secretary Mike Pompeo said the pipeline would give Russia ‘enormous influence’ over Germany’s energy sector

Officials in Washington and Berlin reportedly reached an agreement that would allow the Nord Stream 2 pipeline –  which was roughly within 62 miles of completion as of June – to finish construction.  

U.S. officials under Presidents Obama and Trump opposed the pipeline, arguing it would strengthen Moscow’s influence across Europe.

The pipeline would also allow Germany to bypass an existing natural gas route through Ukraine by doubling the volume of gas exported directly to Germany from Russia – weakening the former Soviet state’s tenuous position in the region. 

Nord Stream already includes one pipeline running from Russia to Germany. Both are owned by a company whose majority shareholder is Russian state gas company Gazprom.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline was already nearing completion when Biden took office (pictured under construction in November 2018)

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline was already nearing completion when Biden took office (pictured under construction in November 2018)

When completed, the pipeline would allow Germany to bypass an existing natural gas route through Ukraine by doubling the volume of gas exported directly to Germany (workers in Russia pictured laying the pipeline in June 2019)

When completed, the pipeline would allow Germany to bypass an existing natural gas route through Ukraine by doubling the volume of gas exported directly to Germany (workers in Russia pictured laying the pipeline in June 2019)

Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox Business on Wednesday that the Biden administration’s abrupt policy shift is a ‘terrible tragedy’ that only benefits two parties – Russian oligarchs and German elites.

‘It undermines the Ukrainians, it undermines our friends in Poland, it undermines the United States and NATO. It is now the case that the Russians will have enormous influence over German energy,’ Pompeo said.

‘Imagine in a time of conflict if things go wrong – imagine what the Russians would do with that.’ 

He accused Biden of giving an ‘energy lifeline to the Russians.’ 

Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the pipeline with Biden in a recent White House visit (pictured July 19)

Prominent Republicans have called Biden's reversal of years-long policy a 'gift' to Putin

Prominent Republicans have criticized Biden’s reversal after years of US opposition, with concerns it significantly increases Vladimir Putin’s (right) influence in Germany (Chancellor Angela Merkel pictured left) and the rest of Eastern and Central Europe.

Officials familiar with the deal told the Wall Street Journal that measures to cushion Ukraine’s financial blow would also be part of the US and Germany’s agreement. 

Part of that reportedly includes vague measures to ensure Russia still pays about $3 billion in transit fees to the country each year under a current agreement that lasts until 2024. 

The White House affirmed its commitment to Ukraine’s ‘energy security’ in a statement on Wednesday after reports of the deal emerged, announcing Biden’s plan to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the White House on August 30. 

Biden's reversal signals a change to a policy position held by the Trump and Obama administrations (pictured July 20)

Ukraine's President Zelenskyy will visit the White House on August 30 (pictured July 12)

The White House issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to Ukraine’s ‘energy security.’ Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy (right) will visit the White House on August 30

‘The visit will affirm the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea, our close cooperation on energy security,’ Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

Senator Marsha Blackburn and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley both hinted at hypocrisy in Biden’s decision to shut down the US’s Keystone XL pipeline but greenlight Russia’s Nord Stream 2.

‘Joe Biden has given Russian pipeline workers a job and taken away the jobs of US Keystone Pipeline workers,’ the Tennessee Republican wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile Haley said Biden ‘gifted’ the pipeline to Putin.

‘Biden killed thousands of American jobs by shutting down Keystone XL and harmed our energy independence but now he’s making Russia rich,’ the former Trump administration official said. 

Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn alluded to hypocrisy in the Biden administration's decision

Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn alluded to hypocrisy in the Biden administration’s decision

Nikki Haley, another former Trump official, accused Biden of killing American jobs while 'making Russia rich'

Nikki Haley, another former Trump official, accused Biden of killing American jobs while ‘making Russia rich’

Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur also joined Republicans in criticizing the deal - though she avoided mentioning Biden himself

Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur also joined Republicans in criticizing the deal – though she avoided mentioning Biden himself

A Democratic lawmaker joined in lambasting the deal as well – but avoided mentioning Biden.

‘I stand with our allies in Central and Eastern Europe against Nord Stream 2. The Congress must reject any deals that fail to protect transatlantic security and Ukraine’s sovereignty,’ Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur tweeted.

Biden met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House last week, where they discussed Nord Stream 2 and the topic of ‘Russian aggression.’

 ‘While I reiterated my concerns about Nord Stream 2, Chancellor Merkel and I are absolutely united in our conviction that Russia must not be allowed to use energy as a weapon to coerce or threaten its neighbors,’ Biden said at the Thursday press conference after their meetings.

Biden and Merkel discussed the pipeline as well as 'Russian aggression' in a July 15 meeting

Biden and Merkel discussed the pipeline as well as ‘Russian aggression’ in a July 15 meeting

When it was Merkel’s turn she said she and Biden have ‘come to a different assessment to what this project entails.’

‘But let me say very clearly, our idea is and remains that Ukraine remains a transit country for natural gas, that Ukraine just as any other country in the world has a right to territorial sovereignty,’ she said.

‘We should be actively acting should Russia not respect this right of Ukraine that it has as a transit country,’ she continued.

‘So Nord Stream 2 is an additional project and certainly not a project to replace any kind of transit through Ukraine, anything else would obviously create a lot of tension,’ the German chancellor added. 



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