A bipartisan group of U.S. senators recently proposed expanding sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline in an effort to halt the project’s construction. If completed, the pipeline will transport natural gas from Russia to Germany to supply Western Europe. The bill, Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Clarification Act, comes after Congress last year implemented sanctions on the companies supporting the pipeline.
U.S. policymakers are concerned the pipeline increases Europe’s energy reliance on Russia, ultimately weakening the region’s energy security. Given Russia’s history as an unpredictable and volatile regime, this development poses a significant threat to the national security of our nation and its allies in Europe. The sponsors of the legislation have argued:
“There is bipartisan and bicameral consensus that Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline poses a critical threat to America’s national security and must not be completed,” Sen. Cruz said.
“We must now continue that effort and ensure that Russia does not surreptitiously extend its malign influence throughout Europe. Nord Stream 2 threatens Ukraine, Europe’s energy independence and gives Russia an opening to exploit our allies. Congress must once again take decisive action and stand in this pipeline’s path,” Sen. Shaheen said.
“The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a Russian trap. It makes Europe and our allies more dependent on Russia and more prone to Russian influence. We’re committed to blocking all Russian efforts to complete this dangerous pipeline,” Sen. Barrasso said. “Our bipartisan bill expands targeted sanctions on those involved in assisting with the construction of this pipeline. These sanctions will prevent Russia from bolstering its geopolitical weapon.”
“Halting construction of Nord Steam II demands our continued vigilance,” Sen. Cotton said. “These expanded sanctions will help complete our mission to stop Moscow from using the pipeline to drive a wedge between Eastern European nations and the rest of Europe.”
“Preventing Russia from using its energy resources as a geopolitical weapon is in America’s national security interests,” Sen. Johnson said. “This legislation’s expansion of targeted sanctions will send a strong message to Putin that Russia’s continued aggression has consequences.”
With record natural gas and oil production in recent years, the United States has the ability to safely provide a reliable and affordable source of energy for our allies across the globe – including those in Europe. Thanks to continued domestic energy infrastructure investment – from pipelines to export terminals – the U.S. is continuing to strengthen the global energy market with a stable, dependable source of energy.