- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 20, 2021

President Biden‘s decision to waive sanctions on the Russian-German Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the wake of a crippling cyberattack on the U.S. Colonial Pipeline has left Sen. Ted Cruz flabbergasted.

The Texas Republican told Fox News that such a move following chaos linked to Russian hackers is tantamount to a “reward” for the Kremlin.

“It’s absolutely crazy what Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are doing,” Mr. Cruz said Wednesday evening while recounting the closure of the Keystone Pipeline and now the Nord Stream 2 move.

This is a “reward to Russia for Russian hackers shutting down a major infrastructure pipeline on the Eastern Seaboard,” the senator continued. “Today he signed a waiver greenlighting the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. A pipeline from Russia to Germany.”

Mr. Biden‘s administration has been coy as to its long-term response to the Colonial Pipeline hacking by Russia-linked criminals, given the absence of a smoking gun tying the act directly to Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

“We’re still trying to figure out, on the Putin scale, what gives him pain?” Jim Townsend, who was deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO policy during the Obama administration, said May 11. “No matter what it is, after the invasion of Georgia, the invasion of Ukraine, the sanctions Biden just put on him … we’re trying to figure out what works.”

Mr. Cruz added that Mr. Biden‘s approach — limiting U.S. oil exploration while paving the way for Russia’s energy expansion — is “asinine.”

“This is exactly backward,” the senator added. “It’s asinine. Four months into [his term], Joe Biden is crawling in bed with Putin and Russia and the enemies of America. It doesn’t make any sense.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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