On 21 July 2021, United States President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a "Joint Statement of the United States and Germany on Support for Ukraine, European Energy Security, and our Climate Goals" that highlighted the arrangements made between the two leaders for the U.S. to withdraw its opposition to the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
The rationale at the time was that the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was inevitable, and the removal of U.S. sanctions that were blocking this highly controversial Kremlin project would not only considerably improve relations between the U.S. and Germany but would also thaw the frigid rapport between the U.S. and Russia.
Having gained such a favorable concession from the West during Russia’s occupation of Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine, as well as parts of Georgia, an uninitiated observer (unfamiliar with the Kremlin’s twisted mentality that considers such concessions as signs of weakness that are ripe for further exploitation) would understandably assume that the Kremlin would be on its best behaviour (for a while, at least), if not even making pro forma concessions to demonstrate some form of reciprocity in its international relations with the West.
This one-sided attempt at rapprochement by the West is disconcertingly reminiscent of the West’s effort to appease another belligerent dictator on Sept. 30, 1938, when the UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned home after signing the Munich Agreement with Hitler, and stated reassuringly to his people:
"I believe it is peace for our time. [!now!/]