Joe Biden and Olaf Scholz on the verge of huge bust-up over Russia strategy

Putin wants the world to know Russia is a superpower says expert

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US and Germany are in disagreement over how to tackle Russian aggression in Ukraine, with Mr Biden looking to leverage the Nord Stream 2 pipeline against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, Berlin has been one of the main supporters of the pipeline and would benefit from huge supplies of natural gas. Mr Scholz has been reluctant to clarify that the pipeline would be added to any sanctions package imposed on Russia in the event of a conflict.

During his inaugural visit to Washington, US politicians urged the German Chancellor to take a firm stance against Russia and threaten to cancel the pipeline.

The Russian owned state-controlled pipeline is of concern to Western officials as it would strengthen the influence that Mr Putin has on the EU, being the largest supplier of energy on the continent.

While the US expressed its displeasure over Mr Scholz’s silence, critics slammed Mr Biden for importing massive amounts of oil from Russia themselves.

While the US imports a large portion of its oil from Canada, Russia is steadily increasing its oil exports to the country.

Last year, Moscow overtook Mexico as the second-largest exporter of oil and petroleum in the US, according to figures from the US agency Energy Information Administration.

Mr Biden has remained silent on whether it would block imports of oil to the US, even as it threatens Nord Stream 2, which would flow gas to the EU.

Michael Roth (SPD), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Bundestag, spoke to WELT saying: “The question of whether Russia’s extensive oil supplies to the United States should also be part of a sanctions package is legitimate.

“We have agreed that in the event of Russian aggression, all options can be put on the table. When everything is on the table, nothing is next to or under the table.”

SPD foreign policy expert Nils Schmid demands that US imports of oil should be part of the countermeasures against Russia, saying: “When you start talking about individual points like Nord Stream 2, you also have to talk about other individual points like US oil imports from Russia.”

“After all, the Russians have not yet earned a cent with the new pipeline, while Putin earns billions with oil exports.”

The opposition parties in the Bundestag are also urging the Americans to openly acknowledge the possibility of an embargo on Russian oil.

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AfD co-group leader Tino Chrupalla explains: “The fact that the USA want to force Germany to import expensive and environmentally harmful fracking gas from America while they themselves obtain cheap oil from Russia is dishonest among allies.

“The federal government must act in Germany’s interests and must not accept this without objection.”

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg

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