Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said he thought the Biden government’s decision to lift sanctions against a Russian company overseeing the construction of a controversial gas pipeline from Russia to Germany will improve relations with Germany should.
“I think they are essentially blaming the Chancellor [Angela] Merkel wants to find a strategy that she believes will work and get Russia to behave better towards Ukraine and other places … But if that is the strategy, I would like to hear it explain and defend, not just sort of swept under the carpet, “said O’Hanlon.
The gas pipeline from Russia to Germany known as Nord Stream 2 would bring natural gas from Russia to Germany and run under the Baltic Sea. Critics on both sides of the political corridor have expressed concern that Russia could use the pipeline to leverage European nations.
Republican Senator Rob Portman slammed the decision, saying it was “contrary to our national interests and helping Russia at a particularly volatile time as it hurts Ukraine and our allies in the European Union”.
New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen said in a statement that “the completion of this pipeline poses a threat to US security interests and the stability of our partners in the region”.
The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
O’Hanlon told CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith that he agreed with the critics.
“It’s confusing why you would give Russia more leeway, more leverage and also the ability to bypass Ukraine in moving gas to Europe,” said O’Hanlon. “It doesn’t bother me making a good decision.”