Germany tells Congress Nord Stream 2 sanctions would be "victory for Putin"

The German government has urged members of Congress not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, arguing that doing so will “weaken” U.S. credibility and “ultimately damage transatlantic unity,” according to documents obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when roughly 100,000 Russian troops are massing at its border, Ukraine views Nord Stream 2 as an existential threat to its security. The pipeline would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion…

In an attempt to reassure Congress, the German embassy in Washington privately detailed what retaliatory action against Russia could look like in a “non-paper,” which is typically used in closed discussions to convey candid policy positions.

A Nov. 19 document marked as “classified” outlines steps Germany would take at the national level, including “strong public messages” condemning Russia’s behavior; “assessing” the suspension of future political meetings; and reviewing “possible” restrictions on future Russian fossil fuel projects — not including Nord Stream 2.