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US waives sanctions on Nord Stream 2 as Biden seeks to mend Europe ties

US waives sanctions on Nord Stream 2 as Biden seeks to mend Europe ties

Washington waived sanctions on the company behind Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany and its CEO, Matthias Warnig.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed on Wednesday that Nord Stream 2 company and its CEO, engaged in sanctionable activity. The point is Matthias Warnig is reportedly an ally of Russia’s Putin.

Additionally, the State Department imposed sanctions on four Russian ships after the Akademik Cherskiy ship began pipe-laying for the project in Danish waters in April. The five other Russian entities, including the Russian Marine Rescue Service, are also under sanctions now.

The decision came as the Biden administration seeks to rebuild ties with Germany, after relations deteriorated under Republican former President Donald Trump. The waivers have no specific end date, but can be rescinded by the secretary of state.

“Today’s actions demonstrate the administration’s commitment to energy security in Europe, consistent with the President’s pledge to rebuild relationships with our allies and partners in Europe,” Blinken said in a release, issued as he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Iceland for an Arctic Council conference.

Commenting on the White House’s move, the Russian officials signalled on Wednesday that waivers could help mend the US fraught ties with Moscow, Reuters has learned.