On Friday, an official from the Biden administration indicated that the United States did not intend to sanction Russia over Nord Stream 2, attracting pushback from lawmakers.
Nord Stream 2 is a project to connect Russia and Germany via offshore pipelines for natural gas. Russia will then be able to help supply European nations with natural gas.
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“According to the project’s website, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will transport natural gas to the European Union in order to boost supply stability, support climate targets and reinforce the internal energy market, arguing that the union “needs secure, inexpensive and sustainable new supplies of gas” because its “domestic gas production is in rapid decline.”
The United States has long opposed the project, asserting that if it could cut off energy from them, it would allow Russia to pressure countries.
State Department spokesman Ned Price reiterated that view on Friday in Washington, but indicated the administration of President Joe Biden is hesitant to enforce sanctions if the disappointment is ignored.
We have been clear for some time that Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal and that if they are involved, businesses face sanctions. But we do not, as we said, anticipate any future sanctions,’ he said during a briefing.
Price spoke as the administration issued a report on the pipeline required by Congress.
The administration announced the designation of the Fortuna, a Russian ship, and its owner, KVT-RUS, to members of Congress. But on Jan. 19, former President Donald Trump had already sanctioned both of those institutions.
Immediately, Republicans condemned the absence of new sanctions.
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I am profoundly distressed and saddened by the State Department’s report on the activities of Nord Stream 2 and the decision of the State Department to forgo additional penalties for other organizations involved in its building. Congress has passed numerous bipartisan legislation on this project and extended the mandatory fines explicitly to cover the kinds of pipe-laying activities that are taking place right now.
Simply put, today’s designations for sanctions are totally insufficient. The Congressional aim is simple and cannot be ignored: the mandatory authorities introduced in the last two NDAAs with bipartisan support are intended to avoid the completion of the malignant Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Word. Only the Russian pipe-laying vessel Fortuna and its master, KVT-RUS, who were both already sanctioned, were sanctioned.
In 2019 and 2020, Congress used language from the Energy Protection Clarification Act of Protecting Europe in defense bills allowing the United States to sanction Nord Stream 2-involved organizations.
The threat of fines resulted in a company stopping its operation, causing a month-long pause at the end of the project date.
At the 2021 Munich Security Conference on Friday, Biden spoke remotely, accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of trying to “weaken the European project and our NATO Alliance.”
He wants to weaken transatlantic solidarity and our determination because it is so much easier for the Kremlin to harass and intimidate individual states than to negotiate with a transatlantic coalition that is powerful and closely connected,” he added.” “That is why it remains a vital concern for Europe and the United States to stand up for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”