Noem pens op-ed connecting Biden’s pipeline decision to Russian invasion of Ukraine

FILE - South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem
FILE - South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, file)
Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 12:00 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Gov. Kristi Noem penned an opinion piece skewering President Joe Biden over his position on a Russian pipeline, which she argues gave Russia the leverage to “create the crisis” unfolding in Ukraine.

Fox News published the op-ed early Thursday morning, hours after Russian forces began a coordinated invasion into Ukraine.

Noem points to Biden’s decision last May to remove sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a factor in Russia’s eventual military build-up and invasion into Ukraine. The pipeline is set to ship natural gas from Russia to Germany. It was completed in September, but still has not yet received final regulatory approval from German officials.

The sanctions were put in place in 2020 to impede work on the pipeline over concerns it would increase European energy reliance on Russia. According to an NBC report, the White House waived those sanctions because they “negatively impact U.S. relations with Germany, the EU and other European allies and partners.” The move was criticized by leaders of both parties, as well as many eastern European nations, saying it gave Russian President Vladimir Putin a political victory.

Noem argued the decision to waive sanctions gave Russia leverage and “doomed Ukraine” in the process. She also accused Biden of having a double standard, noting he blocked the Keystone XL pipeline that would have delivered oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

While the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is completed, it has not yet delivered any natural gas. In addition, CNN reports Germany took swift action to halt certification of the pipeline after Russian troops first entered parts of eastern Ukraine earlier this week. Biden also announced Wednesday that he will impose sanctions on the owner of the pipeline.

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