On September 29, the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a closed-door hearing to investigate Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which many legislators believe might hurt friends in Eastern Europe.According to the Committee website, Amos Hochstein, senior adviser for energy security in the United States, will speak.
Both American and European lawmakers, including Democrats and Republicans, have spoken out against the $11 billion projects, which would allow Russia to increase its profitable gas exports to Germany and other parts of Europe while bypassing and cutting off a source of revenue for political adversary Ukraine.Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned energy company said earlier this month that it had completed construction of the pipeline, which will transport gas from the Arctic to the Baltic Sea.The Biden administration has pushed Germany to find methods to prevent Russia from using the pipeline to attack Ukraine or other Eastern European partners.
In May, the Biden administration determined that Nord Stream 2 AG, the corporation behind the project, and its CEO participated in sanctionable activity. However, President Joe Biden suspended the penalties to give the parties more time to work out a solution and to continue repairing ties with Germany that were severely strained under previous President Donald Trump’s administration.
Members of Congress are pressuring the president to withdraw the waiver and impose the sanctions. Many of Biden’s nominees for State Department jobs are being stymied by Republican Senator Ted Cruz, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.