Status: 01/14/2022 07:52 a.m
The Republicans in the US Senate have failed with their proposed legislation for stricter Nord Stream 2 sanctions. If successful, US President Biden would not have been able to grant exemptions from such sanctions.
Last night, only 55 senators voted in favor of the Republican proposed legislation to tighten sanctions against the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline. A qualified majority of 60 votes would have been required for success. The proposed legislation should remove the US President’s ability to grant exceptions to certain sanctions.
Exemption from sanctions for operating company
Because of the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2, the United States has imposed numerous sanctions, including against companies involved in the construction. The operating company Nord Stream 2 AG, based in Switzerland, and its German managing director are spared sanctions. US President Joe Biden had justified a corresponding decree, a so-called “presidential waver”, also with consideration for the ally Germany. The construction work on the pipeline has been completed. However, Russia is not yet supplying any gas to Europe. Image: dpa
Nord Stream 2 also controversial among Democrats
The Republican bill also found support among Democrats, including former astronaut Mark Kelly of Arizona and Raphael Warnock of Georgia. The US news portal Axios writes that the draft law failed for the time being thanks to vigorous lobbying by the Biden government. In Washington, the German-Russian project of the Baltic Sea pipeline is seen across party lines as a threat to Europe’s security.
Pipeline as leverage in the Ukraine conflict
Nord Stream 2 could make Europe more dependent on Russian gas, the US fears. The Ukraine and Poland, which have so far benefited from transit fees for gas deliveries, are also strictly against the project. The US government recently argued in a similar way to Secretary of State Annalena Baerbock: As long as no gas is flowing, Nord Stream 2 could be a lever to persuade the Russian president to give in to the Ukraine conflict.
Democrats want to introduce their own sanctions law
Next, the Democrats want to bring in a law. It provides for sanctions against Russia if Biden concludes that there is no diplomatic alternative in the current crisis. Then penalties against Nord Stream 2 could pass the Senate without a qualified majority.
US Senate rejects immediate sanctions against Nord Stream2
Torsten Teichmann, ARD Washington, January 14, 2022 at 6:35 a.m
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