US President Joe Biden announced sanctions on Wednesday against the company responsible for operating the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which links Russia to Germany, accentuating the response against the maneuvers of Vladimir Putin vis-à-vis the Ukraine.
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“Today, I directed my administration to impose sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG and its leaders,” the White House tenant said in a statement. The parent company of this company is the Russian giant Gazprom.
“These measures are part of our first round of sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine,” the US leader said. The day before, he had already unveiled sanctions against Russian banks and oligarchs, denouncing the “beginning of an invasion” Russian in Ukraine.
Wednesday’s announcement targets one of energy-rich Russia’s biggest geostrategic initiatives. It comes after Germany announced on Tuesday that it was suspending this pharaonic project, on which it was counting to accomplish its energy transition.
The 1,230-kilometre, $11 billion underwater tube was completed in late 2021, but had not yet been commissioned pending certification from Germany.
“This investment of 11 billion is nothing more than a piece of steel, resting at the bottom of the sea,” assured the spokesman for American diplomacy, Ned Price.
The initiative was applauded by American elected officials on both sides, many of whom oppose Nord Stream 2. “President Biden made the right decision today,” greeted Republican Senator Ted Cruz, usually very criticism of the Democratic leader’s policies.
The United States has from the start been against the gas pipeline which would weaken Ukraine economically and strategically, would in their view increase the European Union’s dependence on Russian gas and would deter Europeans from buying the shale gas that the Americans hope to sell to them.
Washington being often accused of going it alone on international issues, Joe Biden wanted to thank German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for “holding Russia accountable for its actions”.
“As I have made clear, we will not hesitate to take further action if Russia continues to escalate,” he further threatened.
Washington, for example, has already threatened to cut off Russian banks’ access to dollar transactions, and to prohibit the sale of American technology to Russia. An exclusion of Russia from the international Swift system, essential for international banking exchanges, is also one of the options.
The United States justifies, among other things, the firmness of its tone by new information, according to which 80% of the more than 150,000 Russian soldiers present on the Ukrainian borders are “in battle order”, gathered in attack formation a few kilometers from the border.
Vladimir Putin is “as ready as he can be” for an invasion of Ukraine, with “almost 100%” of the necessary military forces already in position, a senior US official said on Wednesday.
The Russian president, who since the beginning of the crisis has set the tempo, continues to maintain the mystery of his military intentions.