Former Trump Official Critical Over How Biden Is Handling Russia

With a united NATO alliance central to deterring a Russian invasion of Ukraine, former Trump administration officials said that President Joe Biden needs to stop being so soft on Germany, which has been reluctant to snub Moscow.

Amanda Rothschild, former senior adviser on the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State, said that Germany likes “to portray themselves as being a moral leader” but tends to act in its own self-interest.

The German government has ruled out any arms exports to Ukraine so far, while its new Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has been vague on whether shuttering the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, an undersea gas pipeline with Russia, would be part of any sanctions against the regime.

“With their legacy in the Holocaust, World War II, you would think of all countries they would be committed to taking a stronger stance,” Rothschild said. “They haven’t been, in a leadership role, in that capacity.”

Creating friction between his adversaries is a strategic move by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Nathan Sales, former acting Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights at the U.S. Department of State, said.

“What Putin is trying to do is play divide and conquer. He loves to pit NATO allies against each other,” Sales said. “And if there is any country that is the weakest link, that’s where he’s going to focus his energy and he’s going to try and break it.”

Germany’s energy dependence on Russia, particularly when it comes to Nord Stream 2, is what makes it more reluctant to take a stronger stance against it, even as Ukraine’s sovereignty is threatened, the former officials said. The pipeline’s purpose is to double the volume of natural gas exported directly to Germany.

“Because of energy policy decisions that Germany has made, it has found itself in a position where it is more dependent on Russian energy than ever before, not less, which is the direction it should be heading,” Sales said.

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