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Andrzej Kohut  7 września 2021

Biden’s withdrawal from blocking Nord Stream 2 is not a harbinger of a new concert of powers [VIDEO]

Andrzej Kohut  7 września 2021
przeczytanie zajmie 3 min

„The Americans and Germans have reached an agreement, despite the fact that President Joe Biden assured the Poles still during the election campaign that his opinion on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline would remain unchanged. Biden has long been against the construction of this gas pipeline, but when he became the president of the United States, the first information appeared that there may be a change and the Americans will no longer block this investment. Although Biden quickly denied these reports, they eventually turned out to be true. The United States withdrew from part of the sanctions, which were to be imposed on Nord Stream 2. This step was explained by the fact that the gas pipeline is more than 90% completed, which is a fact, and further American resistance in this matter could harm relations with Germany, which the United States is currently trying to improve,” Andrzej Kohut, KJ international affairs expert, comments in the latest video on Biden’s decision to withdraw from blocking the construction of Nord Stream 2.

„Perhaps the tumultuous reactions that have emerged among the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have made Biden realize that while on the one hand the decision not to continue blocking the construction of Nord Stream 2 can be pragmatically justified, on the other hand this decision will have certain image costs that the United States and Joe Biden’s administration will have to bear. After all, President Biden was going into the election as one who was supposed to restore values to foreign policy, reject the legacy of Donald Trump’s transactional politics, and finally distinguish himself from Trump himself as the president allegedly elected by the Russians. Meanwhile, Biden, who was supposed to be so significantly different, starts by approving the construction of such a project as Nord Stream 2,” the expert says.

“There were many radical comments in Poland. The topic of the gas pipeline made the headlines of all major newspapers. There was talk of an agreement of powers, a new concert of powers, a new Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. While a certain amount of moral indignation is justified here, it is not worth exaggerating. We know about the nature of the Nord Stream project at least since Jarosław Kaczyński won his first election. Gas has been flowing through Nord Stream 1 for a decade, for 6 years we have known that Nord Stream 2 will be built, Nord Stream 2 has been under construction for 3 years, and for so many years we have known that Germany has not been taken over by the events in Ukraine enough to give up from doing business with Russia. The only novelty in this case is that the Americans gave up on blocking this investment at its last stage. Of course, there is a certain amount of hypocrisy in the operation of Biden’s administration, which one can be indignant at, but in assessing this event it is worth keeping the proportions. From the point of view of energy security, Poland is in a much better situation than a few years ago. If you are interested in this topic, please see the Jagiellonian Club’s report entitled 'Towards diversification’ by Paweł Musiałek,” says Kohut.

„Politics is complicated. It is not true that Biden is abandoning sanctions because he wants to betray Poland, and Trump introduced sanctions because he liked Poland very much and wanted to behave loyally. Rather, both politicians are focused on the consequences of these sanctions for U.S.-German relations. It is worth remembering at the same time that both the idea of introducing sanctions on Nord Stream 2 and the criticism of the current US president’s move came from a common voice of both American political parties. Congressmen, which should be important for us, may still try to block Biden’s decision. It is also worth noting that sceptical voices are being raised against this investment in Germany itself. AfD politicians, for example, speak about it. The Greens, who are likely to be part of the German government soon after the upcoming elections, are also very skeptical. Therefore, let’s look at the complications in this puzzle, let’s recognize those forces that act in common interests with Poland, and let’s support them. The authorities in Warsaw seem to have understood this quite well, because there were press reports about ongoing talks between the Polish government and the German Green Party,” comments the expert.

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Public task financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland within the grant competition “Public Diplomacy 2021”. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of the official positions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.