“Captive to Russia.” That is what Donald Trump called Germany at a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in 2018. The building of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and its ongoing energy deals with Moscow would make Germany too dependent on the autocratic state. Trump’s observation was not exactly original—the Obama administration had made similar warnings, and it was a standard criticism from the Baltic states that had once been part of the Soviet Union.
The calls to cancel Nord Stream 2 had fallen on deaf ears in Germany. In an interview as recently as early February, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz would not tell CNN’s Jake Tapper that Germany would cancel the pipeline if there were a Russian invasion. A lot has happened since. Germany not only canceled the project; it is breaking with its longstanding policy of not delivering arms to war zones by sending weapons to Ukraine, ramping up military spending to meet NATO targets, and looking for alternatives to Russian gas.
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