It was always going to be a difficult needle to thread.

The Biden administration clearly views Russia’s Nord Stream-2 natural gas pipeline as a geopolitical project that threatens European energy security and that of Ukraine and eastern flank NATO allies like Poland and the Baltic states.

But in Germany, the main destination of the pipeline, the project has powerful supporters, investors, and stakeholders. Which makes imposing sanctions, to say the least, difficult.

So now, the United States is trying to thread that needle—punishing an adversary without also hitting a close ally. On this week’s Power Vertical Podcast, host Brian Whitmore discusses the geopolitics of Nord Stream 2 with Josh Rudolph and Kristine Berzina of the German Marshal Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy and Paul Massaro, a policy advisor at the U.S. Helsinki Commission.

The Power Vertical

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