Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Republicans put pressure on Biden over Russian pipeline


“Catastrophic consequences” – Republicans put pressure on Biden because of the Russian pipeline

Republican congressmen have criticized the administration of the new US President Joe Biden’s handling of the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline. “The Biden administration signals that it is ready to allow the pipeline to be completed with catastrophic consequences for American national security and for the energy security of our European allies,” Senator Ted Cruz said in a statement on Saturday.

Cruz’s criticism was directed at a State Department report to Congress that sought to identify companies that could face sanctions for their involvement in pipeline construction. According to Cruz, his colleague Jim Risch and MP Michael McCaul, the new US administration refrained from announcing sanctions against additional companies involved in the construction in the report. There was no confirmation from either the Foreign Ministry or the White House. The report was not made public.

In the report, the Biden government only announced sanctions against the Russian laying ship “Fortuna” and the owner KVT-RUS – both of which were already punished by Donald Trump’s previous government. The measures were “completely inadequate,” said McCaul. They would not correspond to the intention of Congress to prevent the completion of the “harmful” pipeline. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is expected to be briefed to discuss when the Biden administration plans to take further action against other Russian companies.

The USA are storming the project because they fear that their partners in Europe are too dependent on Russia. At the end of 2019, construction work on the pipeline was stopped shortly before completion after the US had enacted an initial sanctions law (Peesa) against the special ships that laid the pipes. Immediately before leaving office, Trump’s government imposed the first sanctions in January on the Russian company KVT-RUS and the laying ship “Fortuna”.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Friday that the government had already made it clear that it considered Nord Stream 2 a “bad deal” and that companies risked sanctions if they were involved. Biden will consult with the European partners on this. (sda / dpa)

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