Blinken’s Hiring of Russia Hawk Amos Hochstein Could Mean Sabotage of Nord Stream 2
Aug. 11, 2021 (EIRNS)—Secretary of State Tony Blinken announced yesterday that he had appointed businessman and former State Department official Amos Hochstein to serve as the Department’s Senior Advisor for Energy Security, to assist in promoting “energy security for the United States and our allies and partners.” Blinken explained that Hochstein’s “immediate focus will be implementation of measures to reduce the risks posed by the Nord Stream 2 pipeline,” as per the July 21 Joint Statement by the U.S. and Germany on “Support for Ukraine, European Energy Security, and Our Climate Goals.” Put more explicitly, Blinken said, Hochstein will “push back against the Kremlin’s use of energy as a geopolitical weapon ... to advance a more secure and sustainable energy future for Ukraine and frontline NATO and EU countries.” Axios recalled today that in 2017, Hochstein labeled Nord Stream 2 “an existential crisis for Ukraine.”
Look for efforts to sabotage Nord Stream 2. Russia hawk Hochstein, who was born and raised in Israel, is well suited for the job. He previously worked in the Obama administration under Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, as special envoy and international coordinator on energy affairs (2014-2017), a post that included overseeing energy sanctions on Iran. He also became a close confidant of then-Vice President Joe Biden. For a brief period in 2017, he worked on the supervisory board of Ukraine’s Naftogaz gas company. That his appointment has raised hopes in Ukraine is seen in the remarks made to Axios by a source close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who said that Hochstein’s appointment could be recognition that the policy to date—toward Nord Stream— hasn’t been successful, “and that this appointment results in a real course correction and is not window dressing,” as reported by the Times of Israel.