Murkowski Votes to Sanction Nord Stream 2
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) yesterday voted in favor of S. 3436, the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Implementation Act, which would impose sanctions with respect to entities responsible for the planning, construction, or operation of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. The vote, set at a threshold of 60 for passage, failed by a margin of 55-44.
“Our partners in Europe need better options to meet their energy demand, but increasing their dependence on Russian gas is not one of them. Especially with Russian troops massed on the Ukrainian border, with an invasion possible at any time, we cannot allow Russia to consolidate its control over Europe’s energy security and further weaken Ukraine’s status as a key transit state,” said Senator Murkowski. “The Biden administration’s decision to waive sanctions on Nord Stream 2 was a mistake that is allowing Russia to increase its malign influence in the region, including its ability to manipulate prices and supply. We need stronger action than we’ve seen from this White House, and this legislation is a way to require it.”
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline would double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream system, which runs from Russia to Germany, and deliver an additional 55 billion cubic meters of gas each year. In 2020, Russia accounted for 48 percent of Europe’s natural gas imports.
Last year, the Biden administration chose to waive sanctions on the company behind the project – Nord Stream 2 AG – despite a mandatory obligation to impose them. Senate Republicans and Democrats alike have strongly objected to the Biden administration’s failure to use their mandatory sanction authorities against the project, which is now nearly complete.