New sanctions possible: US Senate voted on Nord Stream 2 in January

New sanctions possible: US Senate voted on Nord Stream 2 in January

The transatlantic dispute over Nord Stream 2 is entering a new phase. Republican Ted Cruz pushed through a Senate vote that could impose new restrictions on the controversial gas pipeline. But Cruz leaves the blockade elsewhere.

The US Senate will vote again in January on potential sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Republican Senator Ted Cruz pushed through the vote. In return, he ends his blockade on several personnel decisions by the government of US President Joe Biden, such as the news portal “The Hill”. Reported,

The agreement between Cruz and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was therefore concluded at a one-night meeting in Washington. Voting on Nord Stream 2 is to be held before January 14. Passing sanctions requires a majority of 60 votes. There are currently 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans in the Senate. In the event of a deadlock, Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris makes a decision.

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany has long faced sharp criticism in the United States. Washington sees this as another step towards making Europe dependent on Russian energy supplies. However, observers point out that the US is also trying to sell its gas in Europe.

US President Biden, who actually also disapproves of Nord Stream 2, and then-Chancellor Angela Merkel had a long-standing dispute over Nord Stream 2 over the summer. actually settled, As a concession to his close ally Germany, President Biden suspended existing sanctions against the project; In return, Germany, for example, defended the interests of Ukraine, through which a large part of Russian gas supplies to Western Europe have so far passed. However, in Washington’s eyes, working out the details of the agreement is progressing too slowly.

pressure against the deployment of the army

Furthermore, Biden’s softness was criticized, especially among Republicans. Cruz and other opponents of the pipeline have long been trying to reinstate sanctions. You also want to prevent Biden from being able to override it again. Recently, pipeline opponents tried to block similar changes to the defense budget, but they were unsuccessful.

To pressure the US government, Cruz also withheld Senate approval for dozens of US government candidates for government and embassy positions. The agreement has now filled more than 30 government positions, including ambassadors to Japan, Vietnam, Poland and Belgium. There is no confirmation yet for Amy Gutmann, the nominated ambassador to Germany.

Nord Stream 2 is complete. However, the operating permit is still missing. The relevant process is currently halted for formal reasons by the German authorities. According to the Federal Network Agency, there will be no final decision on this before the summer.

The gas pipeline has been repeatedly cited recently as a means of increasing pressure against Russian military deployments along the border with Ukraine. Federal Economics Minister Robert Hebeck recently did not rule out gas pipeline closures in case the situation escalates. “Another question is what happens if Russia continues to violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the situation escalates,” he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. Any further military offensive cannot be without dire consequences. “There can be no negation of thinking.” According to Hebek, the pipeline has always been a geopolitical mistake. “All European countries were always against it except Germany and Austria.” However, Chancellor Olaf Scholz pronunciation againstTo combine the operating permit for the pipeline and the Russian deployment.

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