Well, the Biden administration has finally revealed what at least one of the measures that will be taken if Putin decides to take Ukraine.
On Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price stated that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will “not move forward” if the invasion happens.
But, will it work?
Big Talk, But…
So, I have stated several times that if all that Biden plans to do is sanctions, it will be a tough road to make them effective.
The administration has stated that Russia will have never seen such consequences as Biden will hit them with.
To that point, Price stated, “I want to be very clear: If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.
“I’m not going to get into the specifics.
“We will work with Germany to ensure it does not move forward.”
Germany, which is heavily reliant on Russia for energy, does seem to support the measure.
Its ambassador stated, “The U.S. and Germany jointly declared last summer: if Russia uses energy as a weapon or if there is another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, Russia will have to pay a high price.”
Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock agree that “nothing will be off the table, including Nord Stream 2.”
The irony in all of this is that Biden himself predicted what would happen if Ukraine were lost as a transitory nation for energy, which is precisely what Nord Stream 2 does…
The new pipelines avoid using Ukraine as a transit nation by running along the bed of the Baltic Sea, which means Ukraine no longer collects transit fees it has relied on for its economy.
I just do not know how effective this will be against Russia, as it could always revert to its previous methods of transporting energy, but since Russia would then have taken over Ukraine, it would literally be paying itself transit fees.
For this to be truly effective, Europe would have to agree to stop using Russian energy, which is just not going to happen.
I am sure I am missing something here, but while this sounds like really tough talk, on the surface, at least to me, I do not see this being a make-or-break issue for Russia.
Once the experts in the industry break this all down, I am sure it will be a lot clearer, but Russia was doing fine before Nord Stream 2, and I would imagine that while it may make things a bit bumpier, it will not be enough to stop them from invading if that is what they have their heart set on doing.