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McCaul: Biden Admin’s Response to Nord Stream 2 “Wholly Inadequate”

Media Contact 202-225-5021

Washington, DC – Today, in a congressionally mandated report on entities engaging in sanctionable activity related to the malign Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, the Biden Administration announced only two sanctions designations. House Foreign Affairs Lead Republican Michael McCaul released the following statement in response to today’s announcement.

“Simply put, today’s sanctions designations are wholly inadequate. Congressional intent is clear and cannot be ignored: the mandatory authorities passed with bipartisan support in the last two NDAAs are meant to stop the completion of the malign Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Period. Sanctioning only the Russian pipe-laying vessel Fortuna and its owner, KVT-RUS – which were both already sanctioned by the previous Administration under separate authorities – does not meet that intent. Allowing this pipeline to be completed would be nothing short of a victory for Vladimir Putin. Therefore, we expect a briefing from the State Department as soon as possible to discuss when the Biden Administration plans to take further action against additional Russian entities currently engaged in sanctionable activity as is required by law.”

Background

  • The Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act (PEESA), as amended by the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Clarification Act (PEESCA), both of which passed with bipartisan support, authorized mandatory sanctions on vessels engaged in pipelaying and pipelaying activities, and companies that provide support services or facilities for those vessels, and those that provide insurance, reinsurance or pipeline testing, inspection, or certification services.
  • On February 17, 2021, House Foreign Affairs Lead Republican Michael McCaul, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Congressmen Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking for, among other things, the State Department’s assessment of a list of mostly Russian vessels which, according to open-source maritime vessel tracking data, are suspected of being engaged in pipelaying or pipelaying activities since the enactment of the FY2021 NDAA.
  • Also, the report submitted by the Biden Administration today disingenuously takes credit for the decision of 18 entities, which were previously engaged in the pipeline project, to wind down their activities. In fact, it was the previous administration that successfully engaged in considerable outreach with these entities to stop their work on the pipeline.

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Author: ForeignAffairs

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