US Congress: Republicans want to enforce Nord Stream 2 sanctions

RRepublicans in the US Senate want to force US President Joe Biden to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 even after the completion of the Baltic Sea pipeline. The Republicans on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Congress Chamber on Monday Draft of a corresponding amendment to the law proposed to become part of the Defense Budget (NDAA) 2022 package. It stipulates that the President will be deprived of the right to issue exceptions to sanctions for reasons of national security. The relevant passage in the sanction laws against Nord Stream 2 should be deleted according to the draft.

The US House of Representatives had already included a corresponding change in the law in the draft for the defense budget in September. In May, Biden had special permits (“Presidential Waiver”), with which Nord Stream 2 AG, based in Switzerland, and its German managing director were spared US sanctions. The highest-ranking Republican Senator in the Foreign Affairs Committee, Jim Risch, accused the Biden government on Monday of sparing Russia and thereby ignoring “the bipartisan will of Congress”. The senator accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of misusing energy as a weapon.

Cross-party resistance to Nord Stream 2

Russia completed the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2 in September. But gas is not yet flowing through the pipe from Russia to Germany. Ukraine is bypassed by the pipeline. There is bitter opposition to Nord Stream 2 in the US Congress from both Republicans and Biden’s Democrats. The Democrats currently control both chambers in Congress, but only with wafer-thin majorities.

In the year-long dispute over the project, the federal government and the Biden government announced a breakthrough in July. They issued a joint statement pledging support to Ukraine. The USA had massively criticized Nord Stream for two years. Biden then admitted that the US would no longer be able to prevent the pipeline.

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