President Joe Biden met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday promising to focus on Ukraine developing more green energy — even as Ukraine is deeply concerned about Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Europe.
Zelensky told Biden the political and energy security issues related to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany was a big concern for Ukraine.
The pipeline allows Russia to double its natural gas exports to Europe while bypassing Ukraine.
But Biden told Zelensky he wanted to create “a new energy and climate dialogue to help Ukraine diversify its energy supplies while supporting our climate goals relating to global warming.”
Although former President Donald Trump repeatedly and vocally condemned the pipeline, Biden has appeared more flexible about allowing the pipeline project to finish, as it remains a priority for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
That has deeply upset the Ukrainians, who view the project as a politically dangerous threat.
“We view this project exclusively through the prism of security and consider it a dangerous geopolitical weapon of the Kremlin,” Zelensky said last week after a meeting with Merkel.
During the meeting at the White House, Biden did signal support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, vowing to complete working on a $60 million security aid package to the country for it’s defense.
According to a White House official speaking to reporters prior to the visit, the package will include “additional Javelin anti-armor systems” and other aid.
“The United States remains firmly committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russian aggression,” Biden said during the meeting.
Sen. Ted Cruz called President Biden’s meeting with Zelensky “disheartening” in a statement to Breitbart News criticizing the president for allowing Russia to complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
“Nord Stream 2 will directly and acutely endanger the national security of our allies, gift Putin with a generational win, and undermine the safety of Americans,” Cruz wrote.
Cruz accused Biden of paying “lip service” to Ukraine’s security by refusing to take the pipeline issue seriously.
“Instead today President Biden mostly paid lip service to Ukraine’s security and then pivoted to tired, partisan rhetoric about climate change and green energy,” he wrote. “This is the stuff of university faculty lounges, not the real world.”
Cruz scoffed at Biden’s promise to work with Ukraine on green energy programs.
“Solar panels aren’t going to deter Russian aggression,” he said. “That requires resolute American action aimed at ensuring our allies’ energy security, integrity, and infrastructure, all of which are prerequisites to their—and ultimately our—national security.”