“While members of the Biden administration were finalizing their deal with Germany, they were working with the Ukrainians to set a date for Zelensky’s White House visit, which the Ukrainian president had initially stated would be this month,” Axios reports. “The Ukrainians felt the administration was effectively linking the White House visit to Ukraine’s position on the Nord Stream deal and pressuring them not to speak out.”
Did Biden really just condition a visit to the White House upon Zelensky’s agreeing to acquiesce to Russian energy dominance over Ukraine? Time to appoint the impeachment managers!
Unlike Trump, Biden is pressuring Zelensky to accept a deal that represents an existential threat to his country. Right now, Russian gas exports to Western Europe go through pipelines that cross through Ukraine — which means Russia cannot cut off gas to Ukraine without also cutting off its lucrative exports to the West. But once the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline is built, Russia will be able to bypass Ukraine and send gas directly to Germany under the Baltic Sea. When that happens, Russia will be able to shut off energy supplies to Ukraine without cutting off Western Europe.