The US-Germany deal on Nord Stream 2 has solid concessions by Berlin. We can all blame Putin, Schröder, Merkel, and others for this pipeline. By declining to sanction allies now that it's built, Biden leads us to stand together vs Covid, China, and…
1⃣ Ukraine gets at least $1 billion for green energy transition on top of other energy support.
2⃣ Germany expands its engagement with Three Seas Initiative with financial support for energy projects.
3⃣ Germany will abide by "the letter and the spirit" of the Third Energy Package with respect to Nord Stream 2, which means unbundling monopolistic ownership.
4⃣ Germany will use "all available leverage" to get Ukraine a 10-year extension to its gas transit deal with Russia.

That means taking advantage of this current period when Berlin has leverage over Moscow because the pipeline isn't yet operational.
5⃣ When Russia reneges (and they surely will test Western resolve), Germany will lead the EU to sanction Russian gas exports to Europe.

That's a big deal. Using sanctions to actually reduce Russian gas exports to Europe is something we didn't even do when Russia invaded Ukraine.
6⃣ Separate from this deal with Germany, Zelensky is finally getting his White House visit on August 30.
Those are solid concessions considering that Biden inherited a pipeline that was 90% complete. Nobody other than Putin likes this pipeline, but don’t blame Biden for it. It’s an ugly stain on the legacy of Schröder, Merkel, and others.
The role played by the Biden administration has involved negotiating with allies rather than sanctioning them. It’s a return of American-led diplomacy, which requires saying yes when you get most of what you wanted.
It's also a return to listening to our allies and respecting their sovereign right to set their own energy and foreign policies, rather than coercing them with sanctions. That's why—unlike Russia and China—we have history’s most powerful network of allies.
A united transatlantic alliance—led in Europe by Germany—was the biggest development in 2014 that unpleasantly surprised Putin. We need that kind of unity to stand together against China and Russia, to vaccinate the world, to keep Iran from nukes, to save the climate, and more.
That value-laden diplomacy—negotiating with allies, respecting their sovereignty, setting priorities—is not something Congress is good at. They'd always rather just do sanctions. So I think their inevitable fury over this deal says more about Congress than it says about the deal.
Reasonable people can and will differ. But I think this deal is what we need to move on as a diverse coalition of friends and allies standing together against Russia and solving bigger problems in the world. 🔚

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More from @JoshRudes

20 Jul
Four-point deal on Nord Stream 2:

1️⃣ Germany and the US to invest $50 million in Ukrainian green tech
2️⃣ German support for Three Seas
3️⃣ Ukraine keeps getting $3 billion in annual transit fees from Russia
4️⃣ US can sanction future Russian energy coercion…
Woulda also liked a kill switch, reverse gas flows from West, extended Ukr-Rus gas deal past 2024, and German/EU commitment to join the snapback sanctions. But diplomacy is about saying “yes” to getting most of what you wanted, particularly when the issue isn’t your #1 priority.
The single biggest reason why we're stronger than Russia and China may be that we have many friends and allies in the world, not just subjects we try to dominate. And we have that because we treat them like friends & allies, not just pushing and ordering them around all the time.
Read 4 tweets
24 Jun
Here are a half-dozen ways Congress can shore up U.S. defenses against Chinese malign finance. 🧵
1⃣ There's a provision in #S1 to broaden the definition of an in-kind political contribution to cover dirt on opponents or polling data (think Russia-2016), but it would not cover requests for investigations into opponents or trade targeted toward swing stages (think China-2020).
2⃣ 501c3's should have to disclose foreign funders. China has used proxies to set up friendly think tanks (in Australia) or US-based 501c3's (to facilitate bribery schemes and buy influence for the Belt and Road as far West as Czechia and Africa). See @Lancegooden's bill.
Read 7 tweets
24 Jun
NEW: @FSCDems & @RepMikeQuigley released their FY22 approps bill, to be marked up soon.

Includes the $191 million for FinCEN requested by Biden, a 50% boost.

This is great news—would be Congress’s strongest anti-corruption appropriation this year! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼…
Credit also goes to @RepSpanberger, @RepAnnWagner, @RepMalinowski, @RepAGonzalez, & 34 others who urged appropriators to "significantly increase funding for FinCEN for FY22 ... to cost-effectively combat the illicit financial transactions that [threaten] U.S. national security."
If anything, the House approps markup and Senate process should push the number even higher. Gary Kalman and I argue in @ForeignPolicy to keep it simple and follow Rep. Charlie Wilson's famous order about funding CIA operations in Afghanistan: "Double it."…
Read 6 tweets
23 Jun
"FinCEN is tasked with building a massive database that collects and secures beneficial ownership information, but Congress has not yet provided any funding to do it."

You tell 'em, @SecYellen! 👏👏👏
Dramatically increasing funding for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is by far the single most important thing Congress can do this year to fight corruption.
Here's a letter from @RepSpanberger, @RepAnnWagner, @RepMalinowski, @RepAGonzalez, and 34 others urging appropriators to "significantly increase funding for FinCEN for FY22 ... to cost-effectively combat the illicit financial transactions that [threaten] U.S. national security." ImageImage
Read 6 tweets
23 Jun
Terrific new paper on how foreign powers spend money undermining EU democracy, with a dozen citations of #CovertForeignMoney.

As with my two expert testimonies, this work was requested by @EP_Democracy, which is shoring up EU democracy while the US Senate is gridlocked over #S1. Image
Here's Tom Morley and my research report on #CovertForeignMoney, which surveys more than 100 cases of malign finance, buckets the activity into the seven most common legal loopholes, and presents policy solutions we developed with almost 100 top experts.⬇️…
Six of our proposed solutions are covered within #S1, and five are included @Sen_JoeManchin's proposed selection of voting rights protections:

✅ Honest Ads Act
✅ CEOs certify no foreign donations funneled
❌ FEC structural reform
Read 5 tweets
8 Jun
The key to seeing whether Biden stands up to Putin from a position of strength won't be gleaned from next Wednesday's summit itself.

It'll be whether this next week succeeds at sending Biden into Geneva at the head of a strong, productive, and reunited transatlantic alliance. 🧵
When facing down Putin behind closed doors and standing next to him afterward, it's safe to assume that Biden won't take the Kremlin's side against America's own intelligence community or get duped into signing up for an "impenetrable Cyber Security unit" (whatever that meant).
Rather, the key is whether Biden's engagements w/ allies in England & Belgium start delivering results showing that democracies are more capable than autocracies at meeting challenges and are sufficiently united to stand together against modern threats. Seven questions stand out:
Read 13 tweets

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