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Commentary

Biden's Tough Guy Act Fall Apart on the World Stage as He Reportedly Backs Off Sanctions Against Putin Crony

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The Biden administration’s weak rhetoric against Russia continues, now in the form of waiving sanctions against the company in charge of the country’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

“The State Department will imminently send its mandatory 90-day report to Congress listing entities involved in Nord Stream 2 that deserve sanctions,” Axios reported on Tuesday. “Sources familiar with the drafting of the report tell Axios the State Department plans to call for sanctions against a handful of Russian ships.”

Axios added that “The State Department will also acknowledge that the corporate entity in charge of the project (Nord Stream 2 AG) and its CEO (Putin crony and former East German intelligence officer Matthias Warnig) are engaged in sanctionable activities.”

However, to preserve the U.S.’s relationship with Germany  (the other major factor in the Nord Stream 2 equation), the State Department will waive these sanctions.

To break this down further, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would be a significant win for Putin and would enhance his influence over Europe.

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Russian gas lines currently pass through Ukraine, but Nord Stream 2 would prove an asset to Putin’s intentions to isolate the country by creating a pipeline routed directly to Germany instead.

And according to Axios, “the pipeline could be finished by the summer without a major intervention to stop it.”

What role does the Biden administration play in all of this?

For a while, the Biden administration maintained that any companies contributing to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline’s construction could be sanctioned.

Do you think waiving sanctions against the pipeline company is a bad idea?

“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,” a spokesperson for the State Department said.

However, representatives for the Biden administration, including the State Department spokesperson, failed to offer any satisfying responses to inquiries about any waivers that could be applicable to these sanctions.

As mentioned, sources familiar with the drafting of the State Department’s 90-day report to Congress told Axios that “the State Department plans to call for sanctions against a handful of Russian ships” and that the corporate entity responsible for Nord Stream 2 (as well as its CEO) are “engaged in sanctionable activities.”

Still, the State Department’s plans to waive those sanctions to preserve a healthy relationship with Germany could prove detrimental in this situation’s outcome.

This contradicts any of the Biden administration’s previous assertions that preventing the completion of Nord Stream 2 is a priority.

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Imagine if former President Donald Trump had waived sanctions on the company in charge of Nord Stream 2 and benefitted Vladimir Putin in such a brazen way.

Would we hear the same narrative we’ve all heard before — the narrative that Trump is in Putin’s pocket yet again?

Of course, now that the Biden administration caves in such a controversial way, the narrative changes.

With the leftist media’s absence on the issue, we’re left to wonder if there even is a narrative at all.

This is a major victory for Putin, and it leaves Europe in a tough position.

What does this indicate about U.S.-Russia relations or even the image of the United States on the world scale going forward?

Can Putin take Biden’s “tough guy” image seriously? Or has Biden painted both himself and the United States as paper tigers?

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Taylor Penley is a political commentator residing in Northwest Georgia. She holds a BA in English with minors in rhetoric/writing and global studies from Dalton State College. As a student, she worked in government relations and interned for Georgia's 14th congressional district. She previously published an article with Future Female Leaders and published a rhetorical analysis of President Reagan's Brandenburg Gate Address in a collegiate journal. She aspires to earn an MA and a PhD in journalism in the near future.
Taylor Penley is a political commentator residing in Northwest Georgia. She holds a BA in English with minors in rhetoric/writing and global studies from Dalton State College. As a student, she worked in government relations and interned for Georgia's 14th congressional district. She previously published an article with Future Female Leaders and published a rhetorical analysis of President Reagan's Brandenburg Gate Address in a collegiate journal. She aspires to earn an MA and a PhD in journalism in the near future.




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