Cruz’s Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill fails to pass in U.S. Senate

US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks with reporters at the US Capitol in Washington, United States, January 12, 2022. REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON, Jan.13 (Reuters) – The US Senate on Thursday did not pass a bill to impose sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline sponsored by Republican Senator Ted Cruz, a day after Democrats unveiled their own legislation.

The tally, as the vote continued, was 55 for and 43 against the bill which needed 60 votes to pass, a major hurdle in the 50-50 Senate.

Senator Robert Menendez has won the support of many of his fellow Democrats, including President Joe Biden, for an alternative bill he introduced on Wednesday. He would impose sweeping sanctions on top officials of the Russian government, military and banking institutions if Moscow engages in hostilities against Ukraine. Read more

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Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat who originally co-sponsored the Nord Stream 2 sanctions legislation with Cruz, opposed her bill, saying it risked breaking unity in Washington and Europe in the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine.

She said Cruz’s legislation “would create a wedge” between the United States and its allies in Europe, particularly Germany, in a speech ahead of the vote.

The United States, along with some European countries, including Ukraine and Poland, oppose the pipeline, which would deprive Kiev of transit fees and increase Moscow’s influence in Europe, where gas prices are rising. sharply.

Cruz said ahead of the vote that if his bill was not passed, “Ukraine was in danger of being wiped off the map altogether.”

The Menendez bill, which does not yet have a vote date, would put sanctions on the pipeline and on Russian officials and entities after any aggression against Ukraine by Moscow. The Cruz Bill would have imposed sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG, the company that is building the project, within 15 days of its passage.

The $ 11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline, run by state-owned energy company Gazprom, would send Russian gas under the Baltic Sea to Europe via Germany. It was completed late last year but is awaiting approvals from Germany and the EU which may not arrive until mid-year.

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Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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