Biden preferred Germany to Nord Stream 2 sanctions

US President Joe Biden did not impose sanctions against the construction of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline not to spoil relations with Germany, Alan Kafruni, a professor of international relations at Hamilton College, USA, an expert at the Valdai Club said.

An interview with lenta.ru, Kafruni noted that sanctions on Nord Stream 2 were in line with the aspiration of the United States to oust Russian natural gas from European markets and replace it with liquified natural gas from the USA. However, if the Biden administration had made such a decision, it could have triggered an unpredictable reaction from the German government and business circles.

Joe Biden did not impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2, and Washington can thus count on concessions from Berlin, including with respect to China, the expert noted.

At the same time, the rhetoric of the American president about the imposition of sanctions was not aggressive per se, whereas the new sanctions were not painful for Russia. 

The analyst also noted that the Putin-Biden summit may still take place in the summer of 2021. 

"The parties may reach agreements in certain areas of common interest, but the domestic policy of the United States will continue to limit opportunities for more productive and stable relations," the expert concluded.

On April 15, US President Joe Biden signed a decree imposing new sanctions on Russia. The restrictions affected individuals and legal entities. The sanctions were imposed for Russia's allegedly hostile activities in cyberspace, for interference in US elections, as well as in elections in other foreign countries. Biden did not impose sanctions against Nord Stream 2, but he did not rule out that he could return to this issue in the future.

In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry published the list of sanctions against the United States. Moscow will expel ten American diplomats, take measures to end the hiring of Russian and third-country nationals at the US embassy or consulate general offices, and prohibit American diplomats from traveling outside their places of residence.