Washington will not implement any further sanctions against Nord Stream 2 in the near future, according to Politico.
The outlet claims reported Republican Senator Ted Cruz has repeatedly insisted on restrictions.
Ted Cruz is blocking nominations for ambassador picks in order to attempt and force US President Joe Biden to impose sanctions.
According to an unnamed Politico source, Cruz spoke with national security adviser Jake Sullivan on August 10th. The discussion went “badly,” when Sullivan asked the Republican senator if he would be willing to move the nominations, and Cruz responded that the Biden administration is legally mandated to impose sanctions.
He wants Biden to impose sanctions that would halt Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe. And he’s using his power to put a hold on nominees for State Department as well as Treasury jobs to make his point, “frustrating the White House”.
But the Biden administration made clear, the source said, that sanctions wouldn’t be imposed during his presidency.
Cruz is the author of the toughest sanctions against the pipeline. He is dissatisfied with the fact that the current administration has freed some of the key participants in the project from restrictions, has come to terms with its existence and now proposes to focus on minimizing the consequences of its launch for the energy security of Europe.
In July, Washington actually acknowledged the inevitability of completing the gas pipeline by issuing a joint statement with Germany. It says, in particular, that in the interests of Kiev and Europe, it is necessary to preserve the pumping of Russian gas through Ukraine after 2024. In addition, Berlin is committed to using all available leverage to facilitate the extension of the transit agreement for up to ten years.
The House of Representatives of the US Congress approved a defense budget, which provides for tougher sanctions against Russia. It includes amendments on new measures against Nord Stream 2, which the US President is invited to introduce no later than 15 days after the final adoption of the document. The restrictions should apply to those who plan, build and operate the pipe.
Moscow has stressed many times that this is an exclusively commercial project that cannot be politicized: the gas pipeline is beneficial not only to Russia, but also to the European Union.
Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia was ready to provide more gas to Europe if requested, emphatically rejecting the suggestion that Moscow was squeezing supplies for political motives.
“If they ask us to increase further, we are ready to increase further. We will increase by as much as our partners ask us. There is no refusal, none,” Putin told an energy conference in Moscow.
European gas prices have hit record levels this month, but the Kremlin has repeatedly denied that Russia is withholding supplies in order to exert pressure for quick regulatory approval of the new Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline across the Baltic Sea to Germany.
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