What the Biden administration should do on Russia/Ukraine/Nord Stream 2.
1. Follow the Interim National Security Strategy: "Russia remains determined to enhance its global influence and play a disruptive role on the world stage."
2. Russia as a disruptive (possibly rogue) power does not obey international law as Putin proves all the time & it should not be expected to do so. US officials need to stop hoping for "Russia's good will" (even Blinken hope for that recently).
3. The general conclusion is that if you don't hit Putin hard between the eyes, you will not be taken seriously. In order to become serious in relation to Russia, the Biden administration has no choice but to sanction Nord Stream 2 fully as the Congress has LEGISLATED.
4. The Biden administration's concessions on Nord Stream 2 are incomprehensible. The aim of this project is geopolitical, to tie Germany to Russia & break up the EU & NATO. Such treasonous activities among allies must not be supported or accepted.
5. By effectively supporting Nord Stream 2, the Biden administration goes against its national security strategy, its allies & divides NATO & the EU. This cannot be in the US interest.
6. Some members of this new US administration seem to be unable to distinguish between the pecuniary interests of Putin's two most well-paid agents in Europe, Gerhard Schröder and former Stasi agent Matthias Warnig. They do not represent Germany or the EU or US allies.
7. Schröder's closest aid was German President Steinmeier. Now Schröder serves Putin as chairman of Rosneft (officially $600,000 a year) and chairman of Nord Stream 1 AG & Nord Stream 2 AG, both fully-owned Gazprom subsidiaries with unpublished salaries & bonuses.
8. Schröder & Warnig should be sanctioned by the US as Putin's main agents in Europe, either under Global Magnitsky Act or the Ukraine sanctions. Why can the US sanction evil oligarchs in Finland, Latvia, Slovakia & Bulgaria, but not in Germany? Rethink!
9. The US has laudably sanctioned the Finnish citizens Gennady Timchenko & Boris Rotenberg (Putin cronies March 2014), Latvia's top oligarch Aivars Lembergs (GlobMag December 2019), Slovak Marian Kocner (suspect of journalist murder) & Bulgarian Mafia.
Why no German crooks?
10. Republican senators, primarily Ted Cruz, have put a lot of holds on the appointment of good top Biden nominees in the national security sphere over the sanctioning of Nord Stream 2. The cost to the Biden administration to obey Putin & Schröder is considerable and absurd.
11. Everything is wrong with the US agreement with Germany about NS2: It is over the head of the main victim, Ukraine. I talked to a group of Ukrainian MPs today who cry: Yalta 2! The commercial sense (if any) is to move transit Ukraine's business to Germany, aka exploitation.
12. The only way the Biden administration can come clean in relation to all the parties concerned is to imposed full sanctions on NS2 asap. There is no need for this pipeline; it undermines Western national & energy security; its aims are geopolitical & corrupt. Stop it! @POTUS
13. Remember that the big security issue in August in Europe is whether Putin will follow up his July 12 article with some kind of war on Ukraine.
Are the US & EU (not to mention the German government) awake?

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More from @anders_aslund

23 Jul
Immediately after the disastrous US-German agreement on no sanctions on Nord Stream 2, Angela Merkel called Putin to celebrate her achievement with Biden. Why? Is she trying to qualify for a Russian state corporate job after her retirement like Schröder?
"The leaders are satisfied with the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is nearing completion. The President of Russia noted Germany’s consistent commitment to implementing this project, which is strictly a commercial venture...
...and is designed to enhance energy security of Germany and the rest of the EU. Ms Merkel told Mr Putin about the discussion on the developments around the pipeline project with US President Joseph Biden in Washington." Why?
Read 5 tweets
22 Jul
Yesterday, the Biden administration tried to put an end to the Nord Stream 2 controversy. Did it? I doubt it. This appears to be itsa defining foreign policy mistake unless it changes it, as I still hope it will. Everything was wrong.
2. The essence of the German-US joint statement is that the US stopped its opposition to NS2, overruling two US sanctions laws, without getting anything in return, allowing itself to be defeated by Putin, Schröder & Warnig. Is this the US?!
3. By not inviting the main parties concerned, Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic states, the US & Germany alienated them, notably Ukraine.
Read 8 tweets
20 Jul
This Politico article captures the absurdity of the Biden administration policy on Nord Stream 2. Biden is against it, but his staff want to get it done to the benefit of Putin & his German agents Schröder & Stasi agent Warnig against the EU & Ukraine.
Nord Stream 2 is a Russian geopolitical project aiming at breaking up the EU, promoting corrupt revenues of Putin's friends, corrupting German & Austrian elites, damaging the EU market-oriented energy policy & undermining EU energy security.
Biden used to be against Nord Stream 2, but now his administration has become the main ally of Putin & the corrupt elements in Germany to get it done. Why? Don't they understand or what...? has somebody already been bribed? Putin is so good at that.
Read 8 tweets
16 Jul
It was good that @POTUS & Chancellor Merkel spoke a lot about Ukraine in their press comments, but what they said was not reassuring.
Biden: "I reiterated my concerns about Nord Stream 2, Chancellor Merkel and I are absolutely united in our conviction that Russia must not be allowed to use energy as a weapon to coerce or threaten its neighbors."
Good but how? This sounds like eyewash.
Merkel: "We will be actively acting should Russia not respect this right of Ukraine that it has as a transit country. So Nord Stream 2 is an additional project and certainly not a project to replace any kind of transit through Ukraine."
As empty as a threat gets.
Read 5 tweets
15 Jul
Most interesting. Moskovsky Komsomolets' excellent pro-Kremlin foreign political observer Mikhail Rostovsky reads Putin's article on Ukraine just like me: "Putin issued the last ultimatum to Ukraine: 'Kiev does not need Donbass'."
As a Moscow insider, Rostovsky spells out what Putin really meant to those who did not understand.
1. Russia's policy on Ukraine has changed.
2. Russia will not accept what happens in Ukraine's domestic politics but engage.
3. "Russia was actually robbed" of territories.
4. Kiev does not need Donbass any longer. Who needs it? [Russia!]
5. Putin does not only talk about Donbass: Millions of people in Ukraine oppose the Ukrainian project "anti-Russia".
6. Naturally, Russia will defend these millions.
Read 7 tweets
14 Jul
ABC in Russia policy for the new NSC team:
1. Nord Stream 2 is designed to split the EU & the West. With SPD in her coalition government, Angela Merkel is too weak to stop it. Then the US should help but fully sanction it, but it did not.
2. When Russia provokes, always stand up against it. The US was right to send in war ships into the Black Sea at the time of the Russia military mobilization around Ukraine in April & very wrong to stop their entry. The UK acted rightly.
3. When Russia provokes the West, never give it anything for free, such as a summit with the US president.
Read 8 tweets

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