An article by my Hoover colleague Dr. Paul Gregory in The Hill
Much has been made of President Biden’s comment that “Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal for Europe.” Yet with the announcement by Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Nord Stream 2 sanctions are not in the U.S. national interest and will be waived, the Russian-financed European pipeline should glide to a speedy completion. There remains only German regulatory approval before Nord Stream 2 will become operational, unless Germany’s September elections yield some major surprises.
The Biden administration’s rationale appears to be that President Trump treated major ally Germany roughly, so we should give Germany what it wants — Nord Stream 2. Let our other European allies simmer; Trump hurt their feelings less than Germany’s, so they don’t count. And, besides, maybe a magnanimous gesture will bring Russia’s Vladimir Putin to a summit with Biden that will solve the world’s outstanding problems.
Trump, the alleged pro-Russian president, fought the Nord Stream 2 pipeline throughout his presidency; in that, he, like Biden, enjoyed the strong backing of the U.S. Senate. Trump wielded sanctions to scare off Western companies involved in its construction, leaving only Russian vessels, associated Russian oligarchs and the Nord Stream parent company, headquartered in Switzerland, at risk of further sanctions. Although the Nord Stream 2 project was launched in 2016, Trump managed to stave off its completion throughout his term before handing off the battle to the Biden administration.