Biden Makes Empty Promises On The Fate Of Controversial Pipeline

President Joe Biden reaffirmed his promise Monday that “there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2” if Russia invades Ukraine, though he did not elaborate on how he plans to ensure it would not move forward.

The $11 billion Russia-to-Germany gas pipeline has become a focal point in recent weeks amid ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with Biden at the White House on Monday, where the two were expected to come up with a sanctions package should Russia move ahead with an invasion of Ukraine.

While speaking to reporters after the joint press conference, Biden decisively told reporters that there will “no longer be a Nord Stream 2” if Russia invades Ukraine. Though Scholz said that the allies would be united in their action, he was vague about where Germany stands on the pipeline.

“I promise you, we will be able to do it,” Biden said when pressed about how he would ensure the pipeline doesn’t move forward.

Biden’s comments reaffirm those of State Department spokesperson Ned Price, who said in January that the pipeline “will not move forward” in the event of a Russian invasion. Price cited the “leverage” the U.S. has with the pipeline because “gas is not currently flowing through” it – a comment the White House has maintained as it deals with the tensions.

Biden did not explain during his remarks exactly how much influence the U.S. has over Nord Stream 2, although he did clarify that an invasion would mean “tanks or troops crossing.”

Nord Stream 2 would connect Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea, and gas exports to Germany would double. Price made no comment on the U.S. plans to stop the pipeline from becoming operational.

Biden’s vow to stop Nord Stream 2 if Russia invades and Scholz’s unwillingness to comment on whether it will become operational should Russia move forward, indicates that although the two world leaders profess unity, it’s still unclear where Germany stands on the pipeline.

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