More than anything else, riots in Washington D.C. showed that the US politics, while apparently shifting from the ‘mad’ Republicans to the ‘wise’ Democrats, is likely to remain in the grip of intense internal power struggle between what have become ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ Trump groups. The Biden administration is most likely to remain, at least for some time, focused on diffusing internal tensions and consolidation of power. While the US seems to have incredibly lost its democratic credentials, elsewhere in Europe, it is also losing its primacy as a foreign policy dictator, a position it had acquired in the wake of military & economic devastation Europe suffered during the World War Two. Germany’s decision to go ahead with the completion of Nord Stream 2 indicates the direction in which the wind is blowing, sailing Europe away from the US
While the possible completion of Nord Stream 2 does not and wouldn’t indicate Europe’s strategic alliance with Russia, it does, however, show Europe’s increasing assertiveness vis-à-vis the US. As it stands, Germany and Europe are going ahead with the completion of Nord Stream 2, with pipeline construction to begin from January 15 in Denmark.
The US naturally sees this as a strategic set-back and it is already “warning” European companies of sanctions. The fact that the announcement to complete Nord Stream 2 has come within days of the signing of EU-China investment deal really illustrates the way Europe is increasingly snubbing the US in its dealings with countries that the US considers “rogue” and “revisionist.”
The US State Department recently “informed” European companies involved in gas pipeline project that they risk facing sanctions. “We are trying to inform companies of the risk and urge them to pull out before it’s too late”, said a US official.
While the Trump administration had been chasing European companies’ involvement in the project for some time, the Biden administration is likely to stay the same course. Joe Biden, when he was vice-President, had opposed the project.
At the same time, there is no appetite in Europe for the new US administration to come and certify Europe’s commercial ventures. The message to US was clear when German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas recently told the news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur DPA that Berlin will not yield to pressure from Washington.