The Biden administration informed on Wednesday that it had exempted from sanctions the company Nord Stream 2 AG and its CEO, Matthias Warning, in charge of the construction of the pipeline that will carry Russian gas to Germany, in a gesture of détente towards Russia.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the adoption of the measure was taken in the “national interest” of the United States.
“Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) also anticipates issuing guidance allowing for the continuation of various transactions and activities involving the Marine Rescue Service that are unrelated to Nord Stream 2 construction – including on a range of search and rescue, environmental, and other missions,” the secretary of state said in a statement.
Nord Stream 2 and the relationship with Europe
The announcement came shortly after the start of Blinken’s meeting Wednesday in Reykjavik with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in the first meeting between the two. However, Blinken stressed that “our opposition to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is unwavering. Even if we do not always agree, our alliances remain strong.”
“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 stated.