White House Sells Ukraine down the Pipe
The White House saw the whites of Moscow’s eyes and it scurried away.
Despite assurances by key officials such as Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the United States does not favor construction of Nord Stream 2 pipeline and supports Ukraine’s position regarding the inherent danger posed by this project, the Biden Administration has suddenly switched sides and joined the dark side.
Was it the result of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s charm or Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s intimidation? Regardless, it shows that the White House can’t be trusted as a serious partner of the former captive nations, all of which oppose the pipeline. It reaffirms in Putin’s mind that all it takes is a few well-placed words and threats to demonstrate his superiority.
According to Politico, the White House yesterday asked Ukraine not to make waves and remain quiet on the Russian pipeline that when completed could suck the independence, sovereignty and freedom out of Ukraine.
Betsy Woodruff Swan, Alexander Ward and Andrew Desiderio wrote on July 20: “In the midst of tense negotiations with Berlin over a controversial Russia-to-Germany pipeline, the Biden administration is asking a friendly country to stay quiet about its vociferous opposition. And Ukraine is not happy.
“U.S. officials have signaled that they’ve given up on stopping the project, known as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and are now scrambling to contain the damage by striking a grand bargain with Germany.
At the same time, administration officials have quietly urged their Ukrainian counterparts to withhold criticism of a forthcoming agreement with Germany involving the pipeline, according to four people with knowledge of the conversations.
“The U.S. officials have indicated that going public with opposition to the forthcoming agreement could damage the Washington-Kyiv bilateral relationship, those sources said. The officials have also urged the Ukrainians not to discuss the U.S. and Germany’s potential plans with Congress. A senior administration official disputed this reporting, noting that the situation is more nuanced than that, but declined to share further details on U.S. officials’ talks with their Ukrainian counterparts.”
This outlandish request will go down in history as a political spoiler between two friendly nations—the United States and Ukraine, in which Washington, Kyiv’s strategic partner, chose to side with the war mongering enemy Russia.
Bowing to Merkel and Putin’s complaints, the White House decided to contain the damage, to make nice with Germany, and to coax Ukraine to stop badgering Washington and other free world democracies that support Kyiv about the dangers of the pipeline, with which Moscow will control the European Union with a twist of the spigot.
Furthermore, the White House warned – perhaps threatened – Kyiv that if it didn’t stop opposing the pipeline, it would damage Washington-Kyiv bilateral relationship. Once that form of undiplomatic rapport between two countries is set in stone, Washington could bully or bribe Kyiv into replacing its independence for a repeated stint in Moscow’s prison of nations.
While not denying this line of thinking, the White House suggested that it’s not like you think, it’s “more nuanced.” The White House simultaneously urged Ukraine not to discuss its change of heart with Congress.
That should immediately inspire the Ukrainian American community, which has been in the forefront of defending subjugated Ukraine’s interests for more than a century and now independent Ukraine’s welfare for three decades, to raise hell on Capitol Hill about President Biden’s duplicitous policy toward Ukraine. Just recall that Ukrainian Americans were upset with President Trump’s unfriendly policies toward Ukraine.
The Governments of Ukraine and Poland jointly strongly protested this decision in today’s statement: “The decision to build Nord Stream 2 made in 2015 mere months after Russia’s invasion and illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory, created security, credibility and political crisis in Europe.”
The two allies said “This decision has created political, military and energy threat for Ukraine and Central Europe, while increasing Russia’s potential to destabilize the security situation in Europe, perpetuating divisions among NATO and European Union member states.”
“We call on the United States and Germany to adequately address the security crisis in our region, that Russia is the only beneficiary to. Ukraine and Poland will work together with their allies and partners to oppose NS2 until solutions are developed to address the security crisis created by NS2, to provide support to countries aspiring to membership in Western democratic institutions, and to reduce threats to peace and energy security,” concluded the statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Zbigniew Rau.
Numerous lawmakers support Ukraine’s position on Nord Stream 2, such as Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Bob Menendez of New Jersey. Ukrainian American voters should contact their congressmen and senators about this sad two-faced situation in the Oval Office and point out that the White House sought to muzzle Kyiv but Americans on Ukrainian descent are mounting a second front to correct this misguided decision and split the pipeline project once and for all.
The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America and other community groups have begun calling on their memberships to contact Congress.
“The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the representative organization of nearly 2 million Americans of Ukrainian descent, agrees with the United States Congress, the White House and the US State Department in their estimation of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline: Nord Stream 2 is a geopolitical scheme designed to provide Putin’s Russia with additional malign influence on our European allies and partners…
“UCCA took President Joe Biden at his word when he described the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as ‘fundamentally bad deal for Europe’ specifically because, in his words, it would ‘lock in great reliance on Russia [which] will fundamentally destabilize Ukraine’…
“The United States should not only fully administer congressionally mandated sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, it should further sanction any of the subcontractors that work on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to ratchet up the pressure on Russia to finally leave Ukrainian territory. UCCA calls on President Biden to maintain the commitments made to our allies in Eastern Europe and continue America’s bipartisan record of support for Ukraine.”
We urge Congress to prohibit the White House from embarrassing itself, demonstrating weakness in the face of Moscow’s pressure and Germany’s egocentricity, and losing Ukraine on its watch.