Ukrainian President Urges US Senators to Pass Bill on Nord Stream 2 Sanctions
The legislation was introduced by GOP Senator Ted Cruz, but hasn't been approved by the upper chamber yet. According to a report by Politico, the chances of the bill passing are slim due to dwindling support from Democrats.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on US senators to pass a bill stipulating that the White House impose sanctions on the joint Russia-European project – the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
"Ukraine asks all of its friends in the US Senate to support the law to protect Europe's energy security", Zelensky said.
The president further thanked the bill's author, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for agreeing to put the bill to a vote.
The voting will reportedly take place on 14 January, however, according to Politico, the chances of the Senate passing it are slim. Politico's sources said that the Democrats, who had previously backed the idea, signalled a shift in their posture earlier this week, meaning that the legislation might not gather enough votes.
Project That Resonates With Germans' Desires
Ukraine and several other countries, including the US, criticise Nord Stream 2 on the grounds of unsubstantiated allegations that Moscow will use the pipeline as a tool of control over Europe by limiting natural gas flow. Kiev is also concerned that Russia will stop paying it the fees for gas transfer through the nation's territory.
Russia pledged to continue using Ukraine's services as long as it remains economically viable and insisted that the pipeline project is not related to politics. The current ruling German party echoed that sentiment on 8 January. General Secretary of the SPD (Social Democratic Party) and Bundestag member Kevin Kühnert stated that all concerns have been taken into consideration regarding the Nord Stream 2's construction and launch.
Kühnert further added that the pipeline resonates with the desires of German citizens, 60% of whom support Nord Stream 2's launch, according to a new poll by the broadcaster ARD.
Nord Stream 2 is capable of pumping up to 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Russia to Europe per year. Its construction was completed in September 2021, but the pipeline's launch is yet to be approved by the German government and regulators. German Foreign Minister and leader of the SPD's coalition ally. the Green Party, Annalena Baerbock said that the pipeline did not fulfill the requirements of EU energy laws and cannot yet be certified for operation. Her party earlier opposed the launch of Nord Stream 2.