US Senate plans to impose sanctions against Nord Stream 2, - Politico

Source : 112 Ukraine

The Senate will vote on January 14. The bill needs 60 votes to pass
12:25, 4 January 2022

Nord Stream 2

The US Senate plans to vote for a sanctions bill against Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline on January 14 as Politico reported.

It is reported that the bill was proposed by Republican Senator Ted Cruz.

According to the text obtained by the publication, Cruz's bill requires pipeline sanctions to be imposed within 15 days of passage and allows Congress to vote to renew the sanctions if the president refuses to do so.

Related: US Senate agreed to return sanctions against Nord Stream 2 in January

The bill needs 60 votes to pass, and Cruz and other Republicans are confident they will reach that mark.

“We’ll win that vote overwhelmingly,” a senior Republican aide told.

The vote carries obvious political risk for Democrats, many of whom opposed Joe Biden's decision last year to lift sanctions on the pipeline from Russia to Germany. In addition, the pipeline, which is nearly complete and awaiting certification, adds an additional element of complexity and drama amid a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Related: Zelensky discussed with members of US Congress Donbas, NATO and Nord Stream 2

It is noted that Democrats could have avoided this awkward scenario for the Biden team. Democrat Bob Menendez, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has a bill that would impose harsh penalties on Moscow, including harsh sanctions on Nord Stream 2 - but only after Russian President Vladimir Putin invades Ukraine. In theory, Democratic leaders in the Senate could vote for Menendez's bill along with Cruz's.

Senate procedure allows the majority party to introduce an alternative amendment on the issue at hand and, importantly, it gets a vote first. The minority party's bill - in this case Cruz's bill - would get a second vote.

Politico reports that placing Menendez's bill next to Cruz's would have given Democrats political cover. Nearly all senators had previously supported a similar sanctions regime spelled out in Cruz's bill. But Biden has since abandoned those sanctions, and supporting the "Cruz bill" would have brought Democrats into contention with their party leader.

Related: Ukraine "actively provides information" to the U.S. to expand sanctions against Nord Stream 2, - Ambassador

As it was reported earlier, the construction of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was completely finished as of the morning of September 10. Work on laying the Nord Stream 2 pipeline began in 2018. Its length is 1,230 km. The pipeline is expected to supply 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually from Russia via the Baltic Sea to Germany.

Meanwhile, German Vice-Chancellor, Federal Minister of Economy and Climate Protection Robert Habeck supported the decision of the federal government not to interfere in the approval of the Nord Stream – 2 gas pipeline and consider it only from a legal point of view.


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