Nord Stream 2 should be 'cut off' says John Bolton
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John Bolton, who served as the National Security Advisor to Donald Trump said it was vital that the European Union sends a “very visible” message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that it is unacceptable to march troops into both Ukraine and now Kazakhstan.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Bolton appeared astonished at why the EU had failed to act in response to Russian aggression across Europe and Central Asia.
Discussing measures involving the pipeline, he said: “Absolutely we should cut it off! We should have cut it off in the Trump administration!”
Mr Bolton suggested that instead of current sanctions against Russia, the West should tell the Russians “there is not going to be any Nord Stream 2 until you get your troops out of Ukraine”.
He added this should also include the illegal annexation of the Crimea by Russia, and see Russian troops withdraw from there as well.
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But the former NSA warned if the West does not raise the cost to President Putin in a “very visible way” now, it will not be enough to threaten action if Russian forces cross into Ukraine following the massive build-up of troops on the border.
He went on to warn the EU and Germany, where the pipeline ends, “needed the lesson brought home to us, it is happening right now in Kazakhstan”.
It comes as President Putin sent Russian troops into Kazakhstan to crack down on violence after the country’s citizens took to the streets to protest soaring petrol prices.
The comments follow similar demands made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken who said the pipeline must be used as “leverage” against Russia.
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In a rallying cry for action, he told European leaders: “Some may see Nord Stream 2 as leverage that Russia can use against Europe.
“In fact, it’s leverage for Europe to use against Russia.”
It comes US politicians are currently debating whether to impose sanctions on Russia over the Nord Stream 2 project.
The US Senate will vote next week on legislation from Republican Senator Ted Cruz that could force President Joe Biden to impose sanctions on the pipeline project.
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The 1,230-kilometer-long Nord Stream 2 pipeline carries natural gas from Russia to Germany and passes under the Baltic Sea.
The deal, which is the second of its kind and will run parallel to its original twin pipeline, was brokered between Germany, the EU and Russia to secure energy supplies in the bloc.
The pipeline, owned by Russian-state owned Gazprom, was completed in September 2021 but is awaiting certification to begin operations.
No decision will be made on activating the pipeline in the first half of 2022, according to German lawmakers.
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