United States: US to lift sanctions on firm, CEO behind Russia’s Nord Stream 2

The Biden administration will waive sanctions on the company behind Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Europe and its chief executive, with the United States Department of State set to deliver a report as early as Wednesday, a source familiar with the plans told Reuters news agency on Wednesday.

The department’s review, required by Congress, concludes that Nord Stream 2 AG and CEO Matthias Warnig, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, engaged in a sanctionable activity but that it was in the US’s national interest to waive the sanctions, the source told Reuters.

The source said the administration under Democratic President Joe Biden still opposed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline but felt it was important to send a signal about its strategic commitment to rebuilding relations with Germany, which were badly damaged under former Republican President Donald Trump.

Russian officials on Wednesday signalled that the move could help mend Washington’s fraught ties with Moscow.

Republicans in Washington, however, criticised the reported waiver, which was first reported by Axios on Tuesday.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas late on Tuesday, underscoring Washington’s continued opposition to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline but also highlighting the need for the NATO allies to work together to counter Russia, the department said.

The original full article can be found at aljazeera.com

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