The American President Joe Biden declares the waiver of sanctions against companies behind the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
He decided to take the step because the project of the Russian company Gazprom and its western partners was almost complete and sanctions had damaged relations with Europe, Biden told reporters on Tuesday.
Although he was against the new pipeline from the start, he hesitated to take action because Nord Stream 2 was "almost completely finished" when he took office in January.
“And it's not as if I can allow Germany to do something or leave it alone,” he answered when a journalist asked why he was letting Germany and Russia complete the project.
The government in Germany is aware of his concerns.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday she expected further talks with the United States on the project after the sanctions were lifted.
Biden is expected to make his first visit to Europe at the G7 summit next month, and a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled for June 16 in Geneva.
The US State Department said last week that Nord Stream 2 AG, the German company behind the Russian gas pipeline to Germany, and its CEO Matthias Warnig had committed acts worthy of sanctions.
However, it waived these sanctions for reasons of national security.
The approximately 1200 kilometers long underwater tube is to be installed in the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.
It is 95 percent complete.
The United States, which wants to sell its own gas in Europe, reject the project on the grounds that it will make Europe even more dependent on Russian natural gas.
They also see the position of the gas transit country Ukraine vis-à-vis Russia being weakened as a result.