US Hits Russian Entities With More Nord Stream 2 Sanctions After Removing Them For German Side
In the continuing saga of contradictory US efforts to thwart the Russia to Germany natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, the US Treasury on Friday hit Russia with more sanctions – specifically announcing that three more Russian entities and 13 vessels will come under sanction for their work on the project.
“Among the sanctioned vessels are the Akademik Cherskiy, the Vladislav Strizhov, the Yury Topchev and the Baltiyskiy Issledovatel, along with others,” Treasury announced. “The sanctioned companies are Russia’s Marine Rescue Service, Mortransservice, and the Samara Heat and Energy Property Fund.”
Of course, the bizarre thing about this is that it was only on Tuesday of this week that the Biden administration revealed it would actually remove Trump-era sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and CEO Matthias Warnig (considered a personal friend of Putin) – which is the German company overseeing the project.
The removal of the punitive actions took place Wednesday and Axios’ Jonathan Swan wrote of the decision that it “indicates the Biden administration is not willing to compromise its relationship with Germany over this pipeline, and underscores the difficulties President Biden faces in matching actions to rhetoric on a tougher approach to Russia.”
Germany had long rejected Washington’s punitive measures over the project as interference in its domestic affairs, but Wednesday’s removal for the overseer of the project served to drastically east tensions with Berlin over the matter, with German foreign minister Heiko Maas thanking the Biden administration for doing so:
“We understand the decisions that have been taken in Washington as taking into account the really extraordinarily good relationship that have been built with the Biden administration,” Maas said.
Biden was immediately slammed for the act of “capitulation” after long vowing to get “tough” on Russia by Republicans but also Democrat hawks, including in conservative and independent media outlets which pointed out that Trump would have no doubt been accused of being under “Russian influence” had he been the one to relax sanctions.
Fri, 05/21/2021 – 22:20