Democrats Urge Biden to Act Faster on Nord Stream 2 Sanctions

Two influential Democratic lawmakers are urging the Biden administration to speed up the process of imposing new sanctions to block construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany.

Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez of New Jersey and committee member Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire said the project, if completed, would give Russian President Vladimir Putin too much control over Europe’s energy supply.

“We urge you to use all the tools available to stop the pipeline’s construction,” the senators wrote in the letter sent Tuesday.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that President Joe Biden believes the pipeline, which is nearly finished, is a “bad deal” for Europe. The White House is considering additional sanctions to block its completion, potentially including the project’s parent company Nord Stream 2 AG, according to three people familiar with the matter.

U.S. lawmakers from both parties have been pressing the Biden administration to take stronger action to stop Gazprom PJSC’s project after a congressionally-mandated report released last month named only one vessel -- the Russian-flagged Fortuna -- as subject to sanctions.

There’s concern in the U.S. and some European countries that the pipeline, which is almost complete, could increase the Kremlin’s leverage over Germany and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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