The Congressional Ukraine Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Andy Harris (R-Md.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), released the following statement on May 20 in response to President Joe Biden’s decision to waive sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its CEO, Matthias Warnig.
As co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Ukraine Caucus, we agree with the Biden administration sanctioning several Russian vessels and entities for their participation in the Nord Stream 2 Russian malign influence project. We are also grateful for Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken’s recent trip to Kyiv where he stressed robust U.S. support for Ukraine and the importance of Ukraine’s democratic progression and security.
We agree with the administration that Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal for Europe. Yet, we are deeply concerned that the administration has invoked the U.S. national interest waiver under PEESCA to waive sanctions against Gazprom subsidiary Nord Stream 2 AG and its CEO, Matthias Warnig, a Putin crony and former Stasi goon.
We firmly believe it is in the U.S. national interest to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty to protect Europe’s eastern flank from Russian aggression. It is in the U.S. national interest to limit Russia’s malign influence and energy coercion in Europe. It is in the U.S. national interest to stop the spread of strategic corruption by malign actors in Europe to protect the integrity of democratic institutions and the transatlantic relationship.
While we appreciate the administration’s efforts to maintain relations with our close ally Germany as a nation also facing Russian malign influence, it cannot be at the expense of transatlantic and Ukrainian security as that nation faces down Russia’s continued aggression and the deaths of over 14,000 innocents. The waiving of the sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG is against both U.S. national and transatlantic security interests, and also undermines the growing movement in Germany to end Nord Stream 2. We strongly urge the administration to reconsider its position.