President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he would level sanctions on Russia’s proposed Nord Stream 2 Pipeline, after lifting sanctions on the project put in place by former President Donald Trump.
“Today, I have directed my administration to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its corporate officers,” Biden said in a statement detailing his decision.
In May 2021, Biden lifted sanctions for the pipeline, arguing it would be difficult, if not impossible, for him to block the project.
“It’s almost completely finished … it’s not like I can allow Germany to do something or not,” Biden said at the time, explaining why he was willing to lift sanctions.
Biden argued at the time that lifting the Trump-era sanctions was important to rebuilding America’s relationship with Europe, calling them “counterproductive.”
On Monday, Germany announced they would halt the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project after Putin sent troops into Ukraine for the sake of “peacekeeping” in two provinces of the country which had declared independence.
The pipeline project, once supported by the Germans, was considered a politically disastrous move for national security regions, allowing Russia to bypass Ukraine to provide natural gas to Europe.
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky repeatedly criticized President Joe Biden and European leaders for allowing the project to continue.
“We were very unpleasantly surprised,” Zelensky said in June when asked about Biden’s decision.
He described the pipeline as “a weapon in the hands of the Russian Federation” and said he was confused by Biden’s actions that helped Russia.