Last week Joe Biden, receiving Angela Merkel, had strongly reiterated it: that of Nord Stream 2 is a "bad deal", a bad deal destined to bring benefits only to the Kremlin, increasing Europe's energy dependence on Russia and giving away to Vladimir Putin one more weapon to use against Ukraine and other neighboring states.
But after days of tight negotiations, the American president gave the green light to the controversial pipeline, putting aside fears and favoring the need to strengthen relations with Berlin.
The agreement reached between Washington and the German capital, announced in a joint statement, came as Putin congratulated Chancellor Merkel on the phone, with the two leaders speaking of a "constructive compromise". Nord Stream 2, which running alongside Nord Stream will double the amount of natural gas that Moscow exports directly to Germany and the heart of the Old Continent, will therefore be completed, considering that 98% of the pipes that pass under the waters of the sea Baltic have already been installed.
This is a real turning point in the White House line compared to that of absolute intransigence held in recent years first by the Obama administration and then by that led by Donald Trump. A turning point that, beyond the official declarations, was in the air, with Biden who had already decided to freeze the sanctions against the leaders of Nord Stream 2 AG, the company that is carrying out the work and whose majority shareholder is the Russian energy giant Gazprom.
Among the points of the central understanding is the message addressed to Russia, with the explicit commitment to launch harsh sanctions and other punitive measures if the Kremlin were to exploit Nord Stream 2 to put undue pressure on Europe or to blackmail Ukraine with aggressive attitude and malicious activities. Even if from Kiev as from Warsaw the news is taken very badly, defining the Russian gas pipeline as a real threat for Ukraine and for the whole of Central Europe.