May 19, 2021

Risch: Biden and Blinken are Handing Putin a Gift with NS2 Waivers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement on the State Department’s impending report on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, as mandated by the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act:

“The administration has finally acknowledged what we’ve known all along – the entities sanctioned in today’s Nord Stream 2 report have been engaged in sanctionable activities for months. This determination took longer than it should have.

“The administration’s decision to waive the sanctions they placed on Nord Stream 2 AG and the company’s CEO Matthias Warnig citing U.S. national interests is just wrong. The administration seems to be suggesting it is somehow in the United States’ best interest to allow this Russian malign influence project to be completed.  

“This move contradicts everything that President Biden and Secretary Blinken have previously said about Nord Stream 2’s malign influence, and is a gift to Putin that will only weaken the United States’ leverage in the lead up to the impending Biden-Putin summit. The administration is prioritizing perceived German and Russian interests over those of our allies in Central, Eastern, and Northern Europe.

“The president is the person with the statutory authority to issue these waivers, and thus he will own the responsibility for allowing this project to be completed. The administration should fix today’s mistake before it’s too late.

“It is deeply disturbing that this administration canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline on its first day, killing thousands of U.S. and Canadian jobs. Yet, it continues to support Russian workers involved in a project that goes against U.S. and European security interests.”

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