Nord Stream 2 Announcement ‘Typifies the Mix of Incoherence and Weakness That Has Come To Embody the Foreign Policy of President Biden’
As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I issued the following statement after the Biden administration made its announcement on Nord Stream 2:
This announcement typifies the mix of incoherence and weakness that has come to embody the foreign policy of President Biden and the Biden-Harris administration, at incalculable cost to the national security of the United States and our allies.
President Biden allowed Vladimir Putin's Nord Stream 2 pipeline to be physically completed months ago. He waived sanctions mandated in the Protecting Europe's Energy Security Act (PEESA) and simply refused to implement other sanctions mandated in the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). His administration justified their defiance and lawlessness by declaring sanctions were counterproductive to diplomacy. Under enormous political pressure they are imposing sanctions anyway, but ensuring those sanctions will be ineffective by targeting vessels that have already completed the pipeline.
There is still time to stop Nord Stream 2 from coming online. The pipeline is completed but months away from certification and activation. If President Biden implemented the law and imposed mandated sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG—the company responsible for the planning, construction, and operation of the pipeline—it would send a signal that the U.S. is serious about preventing further progress on Nord Stream 2. It would especially underline that any entity participating in certifying the pipeline will face the full force of crippling American sanctions.
Enough is enough. The House of Representatives recently passed robust Nord Stream 2 sanctions—of exactly the type the administration refuses to implement—in its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In the Senate last week, Democrats blocked an attempt to vote on a similar measure for Senate version. There will be further deliberations on the issue next week. The Senate delay gave the administration one last chance to do the right thing and implement sanctions capable of stopping Nord Stream 2. The administration declined to take that chance. It's time for Congress to act, pass those sanctions, and stop this generational catastrophe.
In the meantime Putin is building up forces on the borders of Ukraine in preparation for a potential invasion, weaponizing energy to blackmail our allies across Europe, and using migrants to destabilize the continent. Ongoing weakness and concessions, of the type announced by the Biden administration yesterday, will only embolden him to escalate his aggression.