The White House minimized complaints from Democratic lawmakers over President Joe Biden’s decision to strike a deal with Germany regarding the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Biden was committed to sanctioning Russia, despite permitting construction of the 764-mile undersea pipeline owned by state company Gazprom to proceed, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday.
“Our objective is to prevent or reduce the geopolitical impact that it was going to have,” she said aboard Air Force One.
Biden hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House last week. The pair had tasked aides with proposing “practical measures” that would address “root issues” with the project, Psaki said. But she repeated that works to pump Russian gas to Germany were already “90%” complete by Biden’s inauguration.
The Nord Stream 2 agreement preceded a separate announcement Wednesday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would visit the White House on Aug. 30.