US Senator Introduces Bill To Sanction Nord Stream 2 - Statement

US Senator Introduces Bill to Sanction Nord Stream 2 - Statement

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th June, 2019) A newly introduced bill in the US Senate seeks to enhance the energy security of European NATO member states and mandates sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, US Senator John Barrasso said in a press release on Thursday.

"Today, US Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced legislation to give North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members an escape from Russia's political coercion and manipulation," Barrasso said. "It also mandates sanctions on the Nord Stream II pipeline that would carry natural gas from Russia to Germany, along with other Russian energy export pipelines."

The Energy Security Cooperation with Allied Partners in Europe Act, or ESCAPE Act, would provide NATO members by providing those countries with reliable and dependable American energy.

The bill would require the US secretary of energy to expedite approvals of natural gas exports to NATO allies, Japan and other countries where exports promote US national security interests.

"President Trump was right when he recently said that Germany will be held hostage by Russia if they move forward with Russia's Nord Stream II gas pipeline," Barrasso said.

"We already know Russian President Vladimir Putin has a history of using Russia's natural gas to extort and threaten our allies."

Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russian energy giant Gazprom and five European companies. It aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters (1.9 trillion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas annually directly to Germany and other European countries through a twin pipeline at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

The pipeline project has been welcomed by some countries in Europe and opposed by the others, who have raised concerns over alleged danger of Europe's dependence on Russia and the subsequent diminished transit role of Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly reiterated that the pipeline is a purely commercial project.

The United States, which seeks to promote its liquefied natural gas in Europe, has been one of the most vigorous opponents of the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and has called on Gazprom's European partners to withdraw from the project or potentially face sanctions.

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