A measure proposed by Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s to impose fines on the Nord Stream 2 natural gas project, according to US State Department spokeswoman Ned Price, would harm the unified front against Russia.”Our worry is that if the law is enacted, it would only serve to weaken unity among our European partners at a critical time when we need to show a united front in response to Russian threats to Ukraine,” Price told reporters.
Cruz’s reached an agreement with Democrats last month to secure a vote on the Russia-to-Germany natural gas project before the end of the year in exchange for releasing his hold on dozens of Democratic Vice President Joe Biden’s ambassador nominees.Cruz’s bill, which would place restrictions on the pipeline under earlier regulations, would need 60 votes to succeed under the agreement, a difficult task in the 50-50 Senate where cooperation is rare.
Beginning Monday, US officials will participate in three sets of talks with Russia in an attempt to persuade Moscow not to invade Ukraine after massing tens of thousands of troops at its border.The Biden administration opposes the project because it would bypass Ukraine, depriving it of vital transit payments. However, sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG, the firm in charge of the project, were eased last year as Biden attempted to mend fences with Germany and other European allies.
The $11 billion pipeline, headed by Russia’s state-owned gas business Gazprom, might be authorized by German authorities by the middle of the year, according to Uniper SE, one of five European energy corporations that are helping to fund the project.