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Reporter Corners State Dept Spox On Biden’s Failure To Halt Nord Stream 2 Earlier

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Associated Press diplomatic reporter Matt Lee cornered State Department spokesman Ned Price this week over Joe Biden’s failure to halt the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

During a Wednesday press briefing, Lee asked why Biden has taken so long to reinstate sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

“On Nord Stream 2, you guys have been saying for months, indeed, for over since the waivers were first granted, that in fact, this gave you additional leverage, withholding the sanctions did and would serve as a deterrent. Clearly, it didn’t — it didn’t provide you with any leverage at all that we can tell, because of what you just said in your opening statement about the invasion beginning. So how do you explain to people why you didn’t impose these sanctions earlier?” Lee asked.

Price responded by claiming the U.S. has been coordinating with Germany, saying they had taken steps after Russia began to invade Ukraine.

Price then said the United States had levied sanctions on the Russian company that controlled the pipeline’s construction, saying the U.S. and Germany were “acting in unison” against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

However, Price did not actually address Lee’s question regarding why Biden’s administration had not implemented sanctions earlier given Putin’s movements indicated holding up sanctions as a threat was not effective in preventing him from taking further actions in Ukraine.

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WATCH:

The situation with Russia and Ukraine has turned into a massive conflict.

“The European Union will ‘make it as difficult as possible’ for the Kremlin to pursue its ‘aggressive actions’ in Ukraine, the chief of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen warned,” CNN reported.

“The EU is set to unveil a further package of massive and targeted sanctions later Thursday, she said. The package will include “financial sanctions that harshly limit Russia’s access to the capital markets” and suppress Russia’s economic growth, she explained,” CNN reported.

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CNN added:

The second pillar of this package will limit Russia’s access to “crucial technology,” von der Leyen continued, in a bid to “cut off Russia’s industry from the technologies desperately needed today to build a future.”

“Our measures will weaken Russia’s technological position in key areas, actually, from which the elite makes most of their money. And this ranges from high tech components to cutting edge software. This will also seriously degrade the Russian economy in all areas in the future,” she said.

“Let me be very clear. It is President Putin who will have to explain this to his citizens. I know that the Russian people do not want this war,” von der Leyen said.
The Kremlin is aware that European unity “is our best strength,” she said, adding that this is “why they have tried their best to divide us.”

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“They have achieved the exact opposite. We are more united and more determined than ever,” she concluded.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak told CNN that a “full-fledged large-scale war has begun in Europe.”

“Russia is attacking not just Ukraine, but all the rules of normal life in the modern world. What will be left of the security system on the continent? Zero,” Podolyak said.

“The main thing now is to focus as much as possible on defending the country and preserving people’s normal lives,” Podolyak said. “But Ukraine needs more support from the world and is very specific — military-technical and financial support, tough sanctions against Russia. The West must act today.”

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