‘Making Putin rich again’ Biden to waive sanctions on Russian builders of EU gas pipeline

Biden: ‘Putin laughing on the way to the bank’ says Hannity

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Joe Biden and his administration have reportedly decided not to invoke sanctions on Russian builders of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline despite Washington historically opposing the project which they fear may strengthen Russian dominance over Europe. Instead, Biden’s administration will target smaller firms involved in the project to slow down its completion and to deter companies from working with it. Fox News presenter Sean Hannity attacked the decision stating Russian President Vladimir Putin must be “laughing all the way to the bank”. 

Mr Hannity discussed the news on his show and briefly brought up the cyberattack last week which saw an east coast pipeline shut down through a ransomware attack. 

The attack appeared to be from Russia as experts found the language used to write the code was Russian in origin. 

Mr Hannity said: “At this point, we have Russian hackers who have just successfully disrupted the supply of the lifeblood of the world’s economy, oil and gas to the east coast of this country for weeks.

“Joe Biden doesn’t seem to understand and, get this, in fact, he’s now waving US sanctions on a Russian pipeline into Europe.

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“Wow, this was what America’s last policies looked like, maybe the equivalent of let’s make Russia and let’s make Putin and rich again.

“Putin must be laughing all the way to the bank.

“Could you imagine if this was Donald Trump, the mob, the media, they would be exploding their heads would explode right now.

“The coverage, they’d be apoplectic, but of course Biden he’s never going to receive the same treatment.”

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A US government spokesperson said: “The Biden Administration has been clear that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a Russian geopolitical project that threatens European energy security and that of Ukraine and eastern flank NATO Allies and partners.

“We continue to examine entities involved in potentially sanctionable activity and have made it clear that companies risk sanctions if they are involved in Nord Stream 2.”

Nord Stream 2 is the extension of the Nord Stream gas pipeline network which will directly pump gas into Europe through Germany and the Baltic Sea. 

Current Russian gas pipes run through Ukraine who charges transit fees for the gas to enter Europe and is fairly lucrative for the country. 

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However, with the geopolitical tensions rising in the region it is expected the completion of Nord Stream 2 – which will nearly double Russia’s capacity to transport gas – will divert gas being moved through Ukraine. 

The new pipeline is 90 percent complete but has faced strong opposition from the US who believe it will cause European reliance on Russia. 

But American administrations are keen to appease ally Germany who are also involved in the project. 

It is expected by some political commentators that Mr Biden will use the upcoming G7 to cast influence over Nord Stream 2. 

Germany may also find itself opposing the pipeline as the Green Party gains traction in the country following a rise in the polls. 

According to some polls, the Greens find themselves leading ahead of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party. 

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