WASHINGTON—Daniel Kochis, Heritage senior policy analyst in European affairs, reacted Thursday to news that the U.S. and Germany have reportedly reached an agreement that will essentially ensure completion of the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline, an agreement that is little more than a hollow, face-saving measure:
The Biden administration’s weak agreement with Germany is a hollow diplomatic gesture ensuring the transatlantic community faces the dangerous reality of Nord Stream 2, and fails to provide the necessary tools to punish impending Russian aggression and energy coercion.
The agreed-upon ‘mechanisms’ allowing the pipeline to be completed are nothing but diplomatic smokescreens for the abdication of U.S. leadership on an issue of key importance for transatlantic relations. Germany’s promise to help extend Russia’s gas transit agreement with Ukraine is merely a promise to try. It’s also important to keep in mind the dubious value of Russian assurances.
U.S. national interests dictate an end to NS2. However, this agreement sacrifices transatlantic security in the interest of comity with a select few partners. The result is that the U.S. and Europe will be faced with a completed NS2 and the dangerous reality of an emboldened Russia willingly given further dominance over European energy. The administration’s capitulation on Nord Stream, despite bipartisan opposition to the pipeline in Congress and among numerous allies, undercuts the Biden administration’s talk of ‘rebuilding alliances’ and sends a red-letter message of weakness to our adversaries.
For more information, read Kochis’ recent Heritage report, “Nord Stream 2: A Threat to Transatlantic Security.