Biden: Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a 'complicated issue'

Washington, April 16, (dpa/GNA) - US President Joe Biden repeated his opposition to the German-Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 on Thursday.

"I've been opposed to Nord Stream 2 for a long time," Biden said.

Asked why the controversial project was not affected by Washington's latest sanctions against Russia, Biden said it was "a complicated issue affecting our allies in Europe."

The issue is still in play, Biden added.

Biden is facing pressure in Congress, particularly from Republicans, to make moves to prevent the completion of the Baltic Sea pipeline, which is around 95 per cent built.

According to Politico, the US Justice Department gave the green light last month for sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG, the company in charge of the pipeline's planning, construction and future operation, but after internal discussions the approval was reversed.

A senior official told the news site the administration is keen to rebuild the relationship between Washington and Berlin after it deteriorated under former president Donald Trump, but faces pressure from Congress to impose sanctions.

Under Biden, the US has threatened new punitive measures against Nord Stream 2. The only US sanctions so far are against Russian company KVT-RUS, which operates the pipe-laying vessel Fortuna, and were imposed under Trump.

US officials argue that the pipeline, which is supposed to transport 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Russia to Germany each year, will make Europe too dependent on Russian energy supplies.

Supporters of the gas pipeline, on the other hand, have long accused the US of undermining the project in order to increase sales of their liquid gas in Europe.