Amid growing tensions in Eastern Europe, President Joe Biden vowed on Monday to “bring and end” to the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline if Russia does invade the Ukraine. At a White House news conference, Biden was joined by the new German chancellor, Olaf Scholz.
There, he told the press, “If Russia invades – that means tanks for troops crossing the border of Ukraine – then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”
However, when reporters pressed Biden to elaborate on that comment, he would say little else: “I promise you, we will be able to do it.”
At the same time, the new German chancellor refused to take a firm stance on the future of the pipeline. He merely told reporters that Germany would “act together” with its allies to promise “very, very harsh” recourse against Russia should it go through with a Ukrainian invasion.
In the past, the United States has warned that the Nord Stream 2 had the potential to make Germany “overly reliant” on Russia for that form of energy. The Ukrainian government looks to lose “a substantial amount of revenue” when the pipeline is operational. The Ukraine has called the pipeline “an existential threat” to its security.
The pipeline, which has already been constructed but has yet to become operational, bypasses Ukrainian transit infrastructure. The pipeline will deliver gas directly to Germany from Russia. German chancellor Scholz has received some criticism for the pipeline.
Once again, Biden encouraged Americans in the Ukraine, particularly those who are not employees of the federal government, to leave the country soon.
Biden added, “I’d hate to see them get caught in the crossfire” if there is a Ukrainian invasion by Russia.
Both the United States and NATO have expressed growing concern that Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, will soon invade the Ukraine. He has amassed at least 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border. On Monday, experts said that Putin has most everything he needs to invade the country at will.
Biden echoed that sentiment on Monday: “Putin is in a position now to be able to invade.” However, at this time, it is uncertain whether or not he will carry out an invasion.
German’s chancellor has been under criticism from German citizens because he has not played a more active role in helping to stop growing tensions between the Ukraine and Russia. Germany has yet to specify any type of sanctions they would put on Russia in the event they do invade the Ukraine.
During the German chancellor’s visit to the United States, Biden and Scholz are expected to discuss, among other issues, the pandemic, economic and security issues, and climate change.