What one can say about Russia’s odious Nord Stream 2 project? Out of the frying pan into the fire. This phrase perfectly describes the ongoing battle for the construction of the pipeline. Since the very beginning, the project has moved from a difficult situation to one that was even worse. When Europe’s sentiment on Nord Stream 2 seems to have warmed up, the US is looking for every opportunity to slow its wheels. Currently, experts are curious to learn about Joe Biden’s first step regarding this project.
Recently, the US Senate has almost unanimously approved new tough sanctions against the companies involved in the construction. Notably, Republicans and Democrats, putting aside their differences, supported new sanctions against Nord Stream 2. It appears that Nord Stream 2 is the only thing that is able to unite representatives of the two competing parties.
Biden has been critical of the project since 2016. In his presidential program, he promised to strengthen Europe's energy independence calling Nord Stream 2 a "bad deal." "No country should be able to use energy as a weapon. No country should be able to use energy to coerce policies or actions from other nations," Biden said. Unlike Donald Trump, the new US President-elect is likely to convince Germany to pull out of the Nord Stream 2 project.
The prospects for this long-term construction are vague. The gas pipeline from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea was supposed to be launched in 2019 but the construction had been halted due to US sanctions. Many companies decided to leave the project, e.g. Swiss Allseas had withdrawn its pipe-laying vessels. Russia managed to find another ship but the completion date had to be postponed by at least a year.