Biden Says He Waived Nord Stream Sanctions Because It’s Finished

President Joe Biden says he backed off from new U.S. sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project because it’s nearly completed, and the move would have hurt relations with Europe.

“It’s almost completely finished,” Biden told reporters on Tuesday as he left the White House for a funeral in Wilmington, Delaware. “To go ahead and impose sanctions now, I think is counter-productive in terms of our European relations.”

The Biden administration said last week that Nord Stream 2 and its chief executive Matthia Warnig are engaged in sanctionable activity under U.S. law but that it would waive the penalties for national security reasons.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has applauded the decision and said she’ll discuss the project with Biden at the G-7 summit in the U.K. next month.

But some U.S. lawmakers have criticized Biden for waiving the sanctions, out of concern the gas pipeline will tie Western Europe closer to Russia.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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