Democrats accused Donald Trump of being too soft on Russia’s Vladimir Putin for suspicious reasons. Now, it’s Mr. Mask, Joe Biden, who’s going soft on the Russian leader-for-life-likely.
This week for nothing in return, Biden had his Secretary of State Antony Blinken waive U.S. sanctions on the Russian company and its leader building a massive undersea gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.
The pipeline is a huge deal for Russia’s economy and prestige and Putin’s long-range plans to tempt European countries closer to Moscow’s economic orbit and, by extension, weaken NATO.
President Trump had slapped the sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its chief executive officer, Matthias Warnig. He’s a Putin pal, which is how you get ahead in Russia today and, who knows, perhaps some percentage slides back to the Big Guy there too.
Giving things away for free is how the Obama-Biden team did foreign policy for eight years in hopes that would earn good will and other nations would give back. Dream on, buckos. In diplomacy, not everyone gets a participation trophy.
Remember, without consulting or even notifying our Eastern European allies, all of them former Soviet sycophants, Obama cancelled a missile defense system to start in Poland. The sophisticated system negotiated by George W. Bush’s administration was to deter and protect against future Iranian ICBM’s taking the shortcut to North America over northern Europe.
Obama hoped that unsolicited gesture would convince Putin to help reign in Iran’s militant mullahs fomenting international terrorism and building nuclear weapons. Instead, that gimme prompted Putin to sell Tehran a new nuclear reactor, a sophisticated air defense system and unlimited troop tutoring for Iranian militias and Revolutionary Guards helping to prop up the Syrian regime.
Thanks for nothing.
Then desperately seeking a deal to appear to hold back Iran’s weapons ambitions, Obama gave Tehran hundreds of billions and sanction relief in advance of their agreeing.
Trump’s negotiating style was the direct opposite, as you may recall. Yes, it included bluster and sometimes — Gasp! — mean tweets. North Korea’s pudgy ruler wanted sanctions relief before meeting Trump. The real estate magnate said no. Kim Jung-un met him anyway.
Now, Biden, who really wants a Putin summit this summer, is lifting the Trump sanctions in hopes of making both Germany and Russia’s Putin happy to do business. Moscow says it is considering the summit idea, likely hoping for further free concessions.
Even Biden backers in the Senate seem puzzled by the White House generosity and have requested an administration explanation.
The pipeline, which is nearing completion, will bring Russian natural gas from the Arctic to the immense German market, increasing dependence on that energy source. Putin’s people routed the pipeline under the Baltic Sea to avoid enriching Ukraine with transit royalties.
The Russian pipeline’s supplies will also likely reduce sales to Germany of U.S. liquid natural gas, which is slightly more expensive. That was part of Trump’s energy independence program.
So, now we have Joe Biden killing an American pipeline that would have strengthened his own country’s energy independence while facilitating a Russian pipeline that will hurt American energy sales and increase German dependence on Moscow.
Such a Dem deal!