US Republicans Renew Push to Sanction Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

A group of six US Senate Republicans introduced on Monday a measure that would impose mandatory sanctions on the Russian-backed natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 that, according to opponents, would be harmful to US allies in Europe, Euractiv reports.

The lawmakers led by the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Jim Risch, offered an amendment to the sweeping defence policy bill that the Congress passes every year- the National Defense Authorisation Act.

Senator Risch tweeted his not surprised that the Biden administration is handing Russia energy leverage over our US allies and abandoning Ukraine by continuing to ignore Congress’ will on Nord Stream 2.

Ukraine has been the strongest opponents of the nearly completed $11 billion pipeline project that will enable Moscow to stop routing gas via Ukraine, depriving in that manner Kyiv of billions of dollars in lucrative transit fees and, allegedly, imperil its security.

Wyoming Senator John Barrasso underlined that their amendment will rightfully restore bipartisan sanctions on, as he called it, Putin’s geopolitical weapon by sanctioning Nord Stream 2 at a time when Russia is restricting energy in Europe.

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson has the harshest comments stating that the Biden administration is encouraging and emboldening the US adversaries by sending a message of weakness and appeasement and pointed he’s happy to support a measure that will serve as a check on Putin’s malign activities.

Under the amendment proposed by the Republicans, sanctions will be imposed on any entity corporate officer or principal shareholder responsible for planning, constructing or operating Nord Stream 2, making the foreigners under these categories ineligible for US visas.

After Biden administration waived sanctions on the company behind Nord Stream 2 in May, President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to allow the pipeline to proceed without allowing Moscow to use its energy resources as a weapon to coerce and threaten its neighbors.

In that context, Risch blamed the Biden Administration for allowing Russia to cut gas transit through Ukraine and amass troops and military equipment on the Ukrainian border while Putin is also publicly blackmailing EU to quickly certify the pipeline if they want relief from Europe’s worst gas crisis in years.

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