U.S. Delays Vote on Nord Stream 2 Sanctions

A U.S. Senate committee vote on imposing sanctions on companies and individuals involved in building Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is now delayed, OilPrice.com reports

The bill was expected to be considered during a business meeting this week but one member requested a delay consideration of the “Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act” which was accepted by the Committee Chairman Republican Senator Jim Risch, the news website writes. 

The bill, sponsored by Republican Senator Ted Cruz, must pass the full Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as signed off on by President Trump before becoming law.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, built by Russian state-run gas monopoly Gazprom is planned to carry natural gas from Russia to Germany, raising fear in the U.S. and in Europe about a deeper dependence on Russia for gas supplies.

While Germany supports this project for its steady gas supplies, Eastern Europe, Nordic and Baltic Sea countries see the pipeline as increasing Moscow’s economic grip on Europe.  Just like past his predecessor Barack Obama, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is opposed to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Washington has been trying to pull Europe away from Russia by displacing Russian pipeline supplies to Europe with U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas. After becoming a major exporter of LNG and more U.S. shipments to European ports, the U.S. continued to promote its exports of LNG to help diversify Europe’s source of natural gas beyond Russia.