U.S. expected to leave Germans out of next Nord Stream sanctions
- 19 February 2021
The U.S. is likely to hold off sanctioning any German entities for now over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia, according to four people familiar with the matter, as the Biden administration seeks to halt the project without antagonizing a close European ally, APA-Economics reports Bloomberg.
A key report to Congress that was due last Tuesday could be out as soon as Friday, and it’s expected to list only a small number of Russia-linked entities, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the policy hasn’t been announced.
The people familiar with the issue said Secretary of State Antony Blinken is loathe to target companies or individuals from nations like Germany, arguing that it’s more important to find a diplomatic solution and heal rifts created by Trump’s “America First” approach to foreign policy.
Two people familiar with the matter said that while the Trump administration had also shied away from sanctioning German entities, it was preparing such action in its final weeks. Among potential targets was Matthias Warnig, the German chief executive officer of Nord Stream 2 and former East German Stasi agent who has known Russian President Vladimir Putin personally since at least 1991, the people said.
The people said Trump’s National Security Council had developed a detailed plan with a goal of ultimately halting the project, and the only reason sanctions against German entities never happened was that they ran out of time.