The Biden administration is set to announce that it will allow economic sanctions to be reimposed on the operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, CNN reported.
President Joe Biden is expected to announce the sanctions, the latest in a series of actions his administration has taken against Russia, later on Wednesday, three U.S. officials told CNN. The action would target Nord Stream 2 AG, the pipeline operator that is a subsidiary of Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom.
The Wall Street Journal confirmed the CNN report. The Department of State didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
On Tuesday morning, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz ordered his economic ministry to halt the certification of Nord Stream 2, which was completed in September, in response to Russia’s invasion of separatist-controlled territories in Ukraine on Monday.
The Biden administration signaled support for Germany’s action shortly after Scholz’s announcement. When asked later about potential additional measures Biden could take against the pipeline, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration had already acted on that front.
“Well, I would first say that, you know, the president has never been a supporter of Nord Stream 2,” Psaki told reporters Tuesday evening. “We’ve always criticized it as a — as a project that we didn’t support. We took a range of steps and sanctions — including sanctions, to make that very clear.”
However, Secretary of State Antony Blinken waived the sanctions placed on the direct Russia-to-Germany pipeline by former President Donald Trump in May. Biden then gave a stamp of approval to the $11 billion project in July after a meeting with former German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The White House also urged Democrats to block a bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz that would’ve reimposed the sanctions. The bill, which Republicans argued was key to preventing Russian energy dominance in the region, failed to obtain the required 60 votes needed to pass.
In addition, White House officials have suggested additional aggressive measures against Russia were unnecessary as recently as Wednesday, according to CNN.
“Sometimes I wonder if there’s almost a bloodlust out there for sanctions as an end to themselves,” White House Deputy National Security Advisor for international economics Daleep Singh told CNN on Wednesday. “But let me just be really clear. We did hit hard yesterday.”
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