US senators reject Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill
US senators rejected a bill that would have introduced sanctions against Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany.
The US has criticised Nord Stream 2 as a threat to European energy security, but this has put it in conflict with Germany, a staunch supporter of the pipeline. US president Joe Biden's administration reached an agreement with Germany's former government led by chancellor Angela Merkel in July, allowing Nord Stream 2 to go ahead as long as Ukraine's territorial integrity and role as a transit route for Russian gas being delivered to Europe is maintained.
While support for extra sanctions against Nord Stream 2 was previously bipartisan, the Democratic party has mostly gotten behind Biden's deal with Germany. The bill, drafted by Republican senator Ted Cruz, needed 60 votes to pass, which was considered a significant hurdle given that the senate is split 50:50 between Democrats and Republicans. It secured only 55 votes, with 44 against.
The bill would have obliged Biden to impose sanctions on any entities created to plan, construct or use the pipeline, as well as the executives of such companies. It would have also reintroduced restrictions against the project's operator Nord Stream 2 AG and its CEO Matthias Warnig.