By announcing additional sanctions against Russia that are specifically targeted against the Nord Stream II gas pipeline the American Congress has finally put its cards on the table. For the Americans it neither about Ukraine and Minsk II, nor Crimea, it is about creating a bigger share of the European gas market for its liquefied natural gas (LNG). Paradoxically, during the last 4 years of EU sanctions against Russia, the EU has significantly increased its gas imports from Russia. In 2016 Russian gas sales to Europe hit an all-time record, rising by 12.5% and falling slightly short of 180 billion cubic metres. Expectations are that 2017 will show a 10% increase of gas sales to Europe. The Nord Stream II gas pipeline from Russia to Germany is supposed to facilitate this increasing gas transport. Meanwhile, Russian oil producer Rosneft is planning to become a player on the LNG market and is eyeing those parts of Europe not yet covered by Russia’s gas company Gazprom. Rosneft and Gazprom’s positions on the European gas market harm the US interest of selling its LNG to Europe. Hence, the attempts by US Congress to put a spoke in the wheel of Nord Stream II. We get distracted by the idea of the West punishing Russia for Eastern Ukraine and Crimea and we get even more distracted by Russia’s boycott of Dutch cheese. However, this is all smoke and mirrors compared to the big stakes energy game that is being played out at the moment between the US, the EU and Russia. China will be the “laughing fourth”, comfortably waiting by the sideline, because the weaker EU–Russian energy relations become the more chances it will have to get good deals on Russian gas supplies. Unfortunately, innocent people in Eastern Ukraine still suffer, Russian consumers have increasing difficulty in making ends meet because of the risen food prices and international small and medium sized businesses are losing money because they have only limited access to the Russian market. Until the “big boys” finish playing their energy games no end is in sight for the increasing price Russians, Ukrainians and international business people will have to pay.