February 12, 2021

Risch, Shaheen Urge Biden Administration to Fully Implement Nord Stream II Legislation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), chair of the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, today sent a letter to President Joe Biden in support of the full implementation of Nord Stream II-related legislation passed into law last Congress that aims to bring an end to the Nord Stream II pipeline project.

“We write to reiterate our support for the full implementation of the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act (PEESA), as amended by the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Clarification Act (PEESCA). This is important legislation that was passed into law with strong bipartisan support during the 116th Congress,” wrote the senators. “This pipeline would create a potent new geopolitical tool for Russia, allowing it to deprive Ukraine, Slovakia, and other nations of transit fees. It would tie Western Europe to Russian gas, and the political coercion that accompanies it, for the next 40 years. Moreover, the arrival of Russian infrastructure into a NATO country puts all NATO members at risk.”

“Opposition to the pipeline has been U.S. policy since the Obama Administration, and this policy continues to enjoy strong, bipartisan support,” the senators continued. “We urge you and your administration to continue to implement PEESA and PEESCA, specifically through the submission of a required report due to Congress on February 16, 2021, that identifies the entities actively involved in the construction of Nord Stream II.”

Text of the full letter can be found here and below:

Dear President Biden,

We write to reiterate our support for the full implementation of the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act (PEESA), as amended by the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Clarification Act (PEESCA). This is important legislation that was passed into law with strong bipartisan support during the 116th Congress. Press reports that the German government has put forth an offer that would require the United States to disregard statutorily-mandated sanctions have us concerned.

As you know, PEESA and PEESCA were deemed necessary by an overwhelming majority of the Senate to stop the construction of the Nord Stream II pipeline being built from Russia to Germany. This pipeline would create a potent new geopolitical tool for Russia, allowing it to deprive Ukraine, Slovakia, and other nations of transit fees. It would tie Western Europe to Russian gas, and the political coercion that accompanies it, for the next 40 years. Moreover, the arrival of Russian infrastructure into a NATO country puts all NATO members at risk.

The U.S. relationship with Germany is a cornerstone of the transatlantic alliance. But allowing the completion of Nord Stream II is not a constructive path forward for this partnership. Opposition to the pipeline has been U.S. policy since the Obama Administration, and this policy continues to enjoy strong, bipartisan support. That Congress added sanctions on this project to two separate defense authorization bills is a clear indication that Congress wants to see a decisive end to Nord Stream II. Both sanctions measures, as well as the sanctions recently imposed under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), have had a demonstrative effect on slowing completion of the project. These sanctions work.

We urge you and your administration to continue to implement PEESA and PEESCA, specifically through the submission of a required report due to Congress on February 16, 2021, that identifies the entities actively involved in the construction of Nord Stream II. That the Russian-owned pipe-laying ship Fortuna was recently sanctioned under CAATSA is clear evidence that activities subject to sanctions under PEESA and PEESCA are occurring. We look forward to working with you to bring an end to this dangerous project.

Sincerely,

Jim Risch        Jeanne Shaheen

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