Republicans Threaten To Block 2 US Treasury Nominees Over Nord Stream 2 Pipeline - Reports

Republicans Threaten to Block 2 US Treasury Nominees Over Nord Stream 2 Pipeline - Reports

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 29th July, 2021) A total of 12 Republicans on the US Senate Banking Committee threatened to block the nomination of Brian Nelson and Elizabeth Rosenberg to the Treasury Department unless President Joe Biden' administration reverses its position on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, media reported on Wednesday.

According to a letter, seen by Bloomberg and addressed to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Senator Pat Toomey and 11 other Republicans said the pipeline harms the United States and its allies' national security interests, and, if completed, would destabilize Ukraine's security, encourage further "Russian aggression" and increase Moscow's "malign" influence over Europe.

Last week, Germany and the United States - the pipeline's biggest supporter and opponent in the West, respectively - signed a deal allowing for the unhindered completion of Nord Stream 2. The United States committed to refraining from sanctions against the gas project, while Germany vowed to ensure that Russia does not use the pipeline as a weapon.

The deal also committed the sides to facilitate a ten-year extension of Russia's gas transit agreement with Ukraine.

The senators said they would oppose Nelson's and Rosenberg's nominations to oversee sanction implementations unless the course that the Biden administration has taken on Nord Stream 2 is reversed.

If all 12 Republicans oppose the nominations, a floor vote will be necessary, with at least one Democratic senator rejecting the nominations, to discharge the nominees.

The Nord Stream 2 project, which is 99 percent completed, provides for the construction of a 745-mile offshore twin pipeline aimed to supply up to 1.9 trillion cubic feet of gas per year from Russia directly to Germany. Ukraine and several eastern European member states, benefiting from the transit of EU-bound Russian gas, called on the European Union to abandon the project, citing the bloc's perceived over-dependence on Moscow.

Russia has insisted that the project is entirely commercial, urging critics to stop politicizing Nord Stream 2.