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US drops threat to block Russian gas pipelines in deal with Germany

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The announcement follows Chancellor Angela Merkels’ meetings in Washington last week with Mr Biden, who said during the visit that the two leaders have agreed they are united in our belief that Russia should not be able to use the energy as a weapon.

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July 21, 2021, 10:02 PM ET

I had, as you know, a very, very fruitful discussion with Angela Merkel, Mr Biden said on Wednesday evening. It is working, and the German government, on commitments that suggest that if in fact Russia bother to deliberately inflict suffering on Ukraine and other countries, they will respond.

White House officials said on Wednesday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who urged Congress to try to stop the project with sanctions, would surrender in August.

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz called the deal with Germany a generational geopolitical victory for Russian President Vladimir V. Putin and a disaster for the United States and our allies.

Mr Cruz, whose Texas voters include key energy exporters, delayed confirmation from several Biden administration officials in recent months in his insistence that the United States prevent the completion of the pipelines. President Biden defies US law and has fully surrendered to Putin, he said in a statement. In decades, Russian dictators will still reap billions from Bidens’ gift, and Europe will still be subject to Russian energy blackmail.

New Hampshire Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen said she welcomed diplomatic efforts with key European allies. But, she said, I have long argued that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline should not be completed as it allows the Kremlin to expand its malicious influence throughout Eastern Europe, threatens economic security of our European partners and endangers our global stability.

I still believe in it, she said.

State Department officials bristled at the idea that the Biden administration had capitulated and noted that US sanctions related to the project had been imposed on 19 entities since Mr Biden took office, up from two during the tenure of President Donald J. Trump.

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2/ https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/21/us/politics/nord-stream-2.html

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