Sens. Cruz, Shaheen Introduce Legislation Expanding Sanctions to Block Completion of Nord Stream 2
June 4, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined by Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), today introduced legislation clarifying and expanding the sanctions of their bipartisan bill, the Protecting Europe's Energy Security Act, to block the Nord Stream 2 pipeline's completion.
"There is bipartisan and bicameral consensus that Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline poses a critical threat to America's national security and must not be completed," Sen. Cruz said. "Last year, both parties and both chambers of Congress came together to pass Sen. Shaheen and my bipartisan bill, the Protecting Europe's Energy Security Act, in the NDAA, which was then supported, signed, and implemented across the administration. Nevertheless Putin continues to try to circumvent those sanctions, and so this new bill will once and for all clarify that those involved in any way with installing pipeline for the project will face crippling and immediate American sanctions."
"While there were skeptics, the original sanctions legislation I authored with Senator Cruz was tremendously effective at thwarting the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline," Sen. Shaheen said. "We must now continue that effort and ensure that Russia does not surreptitiously extend its malign influence throughout Europe. Nord Stream 2 threatens Ukraine, Europe's energy independence and gives Russia an opening to exploit our allies. Congress must once again take decisive action and stand in this pipeline's path."
"The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a Russian trap. It makes Europe and our allies more dependent on Russia and more prone to Russian influence. We're committed to blocking all Russian efforts to complete this dangerous pipeline," Sen. Barrasso said. "Our bipartisan bill expands targeted sanctions on those involved in assisting with the construction of this pipeline. These sanctions will prevent Russia from bolstering its geopolitical weapon."
"Halting construction of Nord Steam II demands our continued vigilance," Sen. Cotton said. "These expanded sanctions will help complete our mission to stop Moscow from using the pipeline to drive a wedge between Eastern European nations and the rest of Europe."
"Preventing Russia from using its energy resources as a geopolitical weapon is in America's national security interests," Sen. Johnson said. "This legislation's expansion of targeted sanctions will send a strong message to Putin that Russia's continued aggression has consequences."
Read the full text of the legislation here. The new legislation clarifies that U.S. sanctions related to Nord Stream 2 apply to vessels engaged in all pipelaying activities, as well as to those who facilitate providing those vessels, as well as to those who provide insurance, port facilities, or tethering services for those vessels, and ultimately to any company that provides certification for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to begin operations.
In May 2019, Sens. Cruz and Shaheen introduced the Protecting Europe's Energy Security Act, legislation imposing devastating, targeted sanctions on vessels that Putin needs to complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Their bill advanced out of the Foreign Relations Committee with overwhelming support and was signed into law in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020.
Sen. Cruz has led a months-long bipartisan and bicameral fight to stop Putin's pipeline, which if completed, would vastly strengthen President Vladimir Putin at the expense of the rest of the free world.
- In September 2019, during a foreign policy address at the Hudson Institute, Sen. Cruz warned against the dangers of failing to act and stop the pipeline.
- In September and November 2019, during Senate Foreign Relation Committee hearings, Sen. Cruz raised his concerns about the pipeline.
- In October 2019, following Denmark's approval of Nord Stream 2 construction through the Danish seabed, Sen. Cruz once again urged his colleagues to pass his bipartisan bill to halt the pipeline.
- In November 2019, as the window to act grew tighter, Sen. Cruz released a video about the dangers of Putin's pipeline and urged his colleagues to act.
- In December 2019, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Sen. Cruz directly called on the administration to use its statutory authority to stop Russia's Nord Stream 2.
- In December 2019, once the bill was included in the NDAA 2020, Sen. Cruz delivered remarks on the Senate floor urging the administration to immediately begin working on implementing the sanctions upon becoming law.
- In December 2019, shortly before President Trump signed the NDAA into law, Sens. Cruz and Johnson sent a letter to the CEO of Allseas Group S.A. (Allseas), putting the company on formal legal notice, warning they would face crippling sanctions that could devastate the financial viability of the company if they continued installing deep-sea pipes for Russia.