In Deal With Germany, U.S. Drops Menace to Block Russian Fuel Pipelines

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The announcement follows Chancellor Angela Merkel’s meeting in Washington last week with Mr Biden, who said during the visit that the two leaders agreed that they “are united in our belief that Russia does not use energy as a weapon may”.

Updated

July 21, 2021, 10:02 p.m. ET

“As you know, I had a very, very fruitful conversation with Angela Merkel,” said Biden on Wednesday evening. “You and the German government are working on pledges that suggest Russia will react if it actually tries to intentionally inflict pain on Ukraine and other countries.”

White House officials said Wednesday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has urged Congress to try to stop the project with sanctions, would visit in August.

Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, called the agreement with Germany “a geopolitical generational gain” for Russian President Vladimir V. Putin and “a disaster for the United States and our allies”.

Mr Cruz, whose constituency in Texas includes major energy exporters, has for the past few months withheld confirmation from several Biden government officials insisting that the United States stop completing the pipelines. “President Biden defies US law and has completely surrendered to Putin,” he said in a statement. “In decades to come, Russian dictators will still reap billions of Biden’s gifts, and Europe will still face Russian energy blackmail.”

New Hampshire Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen said she welcomed diplomatic efforts with key European allies. But she said, “I have long argued that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline should not be completed because it enables the Kremlin to expand its malevolent influence across Eastern Europe, threatens the economic security of our European partners and threatens our global stability.” . “

“I still think so,” she said.

State Department officials were reluctant to hear that the Biden administration had surrendered, noting that since Mr. Biden took office, 19 companies have had American sanctions related to the project, compared to two during the President’s tenure Donald J. Trump.