"Waiving sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG is the right move. The Biden Administration has realized they cannot bully allies with sanctions to achieve foreign policy goals. It seems that the USA wants to restore positive transatlantic relations after [the presidency of Donald] Trump by respecting German sovereignty," Ulrich said, adding that the move has cleared the way for the completion of the pipeline's final sections.
At the same time, the lawmaker noted that Blinken "still opposes Nord Stream 2," so a complete agreement on the issue unlikely, but stressed that the US has "no right to control German energy policy" and should not interfere with the pipeline project going forward.
On Wednesday, the US administration announced that it would lift sanctions on Swiss-based Nord Stream 2 AG and its chief executive Matthias Warnig. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday that the move was in Washington's national interest. Germany, the main beneficiary of the Russian-led project, has welcomed the decision.
The Nord Stream 2 project aims to lay a 745-mile-long offshore twin pipeline that will carry up to 1.9 trillion cubic feet of gas per year from Russia to Germany through the territorial waters or exclusive economic zones of Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia and Sweden.
The United States initiated sanctions against the pipeline in 2019, prompting Swiss pipelay company Allseas to withdraw from the project. After a one-year hiatus, the construction was resumed in December 2020 by Russian pipe-laying vessel Fortuna, which was joined by another pipe layer Akademik Cherskiy in late April.