U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European and Regional Security Cooperation, issued the following statement after Congress received the mandatory report from the State Department concerning sanctionable activities by builders of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The Biden administration has announced that it will cite U.S. national security interests and waive congressionally-imposed sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 AG holding company and its CEO, Mattias Warnig.
“I am opposed to the Biden administration’s decision to waive the congressionally-mandated sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG. This choice is contrary to our national interests, and at an especially volatile period, helps Russia while hurting Ukraine and our European Union allies.
“There is clear and convincing evidence that Nord Stream 2 AG and CEO Mattias Warnig are committing sanctionable acts and should be subject to these sanctions under U.S. law. In addition, the State Department is on record saying that the Biden administration believes the pipeline is a bad idea, will hurt Europe, and is against our U.S. national interests. I, and my bipartisan colleagues in Congress, see this project for what it really is – an attempt by Russia to gain control over its European neighbors through the region’s energy supply.
“At a time when [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin continues to place unremitting military, political, and economic pressure on Ukraine, we need to stand with our ally and follow our own laws – which call for sanctions, not waivers. The Biden administration must explain how they will offset the negative strategic impacts of this policy to ensure security of our European partners and allies. It is clear from this decision that it is time to support a NATO Membership Action Plan for Ukraine.”
Source: The office of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman.