Did Joe Biden Really Say America Will ‘Destroy’ Nord Stream 2?

Who is behind the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline vandalism, which has suffered four leaks in a matter of days? According to a spokesman for Russian diplomacy, it is with the US president “Answer the Question”. Published by Maria Zakharova Telegram social network, video of the White House tenant’s press conference on Wednesday, September 28. Dated February 7, the quote shows Joe Biden being aggressive and hostile about the pipeline’s future. “If Russia invades Ukraine, there will be no more Nord Stream 2. We will end it” (“Bring it to an end”In English), the President of the United States declared.

Can we conclude from this that the head of state threatened to physically destroy the gas pipeline, as Russian diplomacy suggests? In France, Florian Philippot confirms this when he shares the same video TwitterOn September 27, the President writes ” Biden announced [que les Etats-Unis] “Destroy Nord Stream 2”. Francinfo interviewed several experts in the geopolitics of energy to reconsider the context of Joe Biden’s claim.

There are reasons why the United States wants to block the operation of a gas pipeline connecting Russia to Germany. The First World Power has displayed them in abundance in the past. “US policy on Nord Stream 2 has always been adversarial”, summarizes Nicholas Mazzucci, director of research at the Navy’s Center for Strategic Studies (CESM). Work on the installation of this pipeline began in 2018, but it was never put into service, displeasing the US administration as it escalates. “Drug [des Européens] For Russian Gas”, The researcher explains. With a gas flow of nearly 55 billion cubic meters per year, Nord Stream 2, if implemented, would have been added to the network of Russian gas pipelines that could be met. “For three-quarters of European gas demand”A geopolitical scientist believes.

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The United States had warned that this bias “One day it will cost Europe dearly, geopolitically and economically. In retrospect, this unfortunately turned out to be true.”, research director notes. In September, Russia put pressure on Germany by halting gas supplies until sanctions imposed by the European Union in response to its invasion of Ukraine were lifted.

Europeans reducing access to Russian gas would also give the US confidence “Economic Benefit” By increasing “Their own exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the continent”In an article for the site, it mentions Sophie Marino, a doctoral student in the history of international relations at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium). Conversation.

However, Nicolas Mazzucci believes that we don’t need to take Joe Biden’s words literally. “Coercion or the Army”. Since 2017, US opposition to Nord Stream 2 has primarily taken the form of economic sanctions, such as freezing assets and revoking visas. “Companies engaged in gas pipeline construction”Anna Gretti, professor of economics at Paris-Dauphin University, explains. “A policy initiated under the Trump administration and later picked up by Joe Biden”, refers to the energy specialist. Ideal: “Slow down construction work” Targeting companies responsible for establishing infrastructure or ports to accommodate construction vessels. As a result of these obstacles, the construction of the gas pipeline was delayed for almost a year.

In February 2022, when President Biden announced that he wanted to complete Nord Stream 2, the threat was not necessary. “body”, Nicolas Masucci agrees. This is the first “The Lever of Diplomatic Pressure”, Director of CESM says. is a question then “Stop Russia from invading Ukraine, ‘If you go too far on the Ukraine issue, there will be pressure to stop the pipeline forever.’ That’s what happened.”

This effectively ended the Nord Stream 2 project with a European approval. Germany suspended certification for the gas pipeline on February 22 in response to Moscow’s recognition of the independence of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. without it, “Cannot run Nord Stream 2”, Then German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced.

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Invasion of Ukraine “killed” The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, believes Olivier Appert, a consultant at the Energy and Climate Center in Ifri. Due to conflict, “It is quite obvious that it is impossible for the Germans to authorize the opening of the gas pipeline.”. February 23, Just PsakiA White House spokesman vaguely announces that Nord Stream 2. “Death Under the Sea”.

On the same day, Joe Biden reiterates his preference “Stop Nord Stream 2 if Russia invades Ukraine”. The President of the United States states his plan of action at this time: “Joint Effort with Germany” must stop “Certificate to Pipeline” and to punish “The company Nord Stream 2 AG (operating the gas pipeline) and its directors”. There was no mention of any physical threats against the pipeline or any verbal threats “destroy”, As Florian Philippe raises.

To date, the origin of the observed leaks has not been established. “So we have to be cautious [la détermination] Causes of Accidents” Nord Stream 1 and 2 hit gas pipelines, approves Nicolas Masucci. The director of CESM has to remember that the explosions affected the gas pipelines “It didn’t work” And running Nord Stream 2 is no longer on the agenda, so the US no longer has a problem.

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