02/20/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/20/2021 10:44
HOUSTON, Texas - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after the Biden administration transmitted to Congress a mandatory, overdue report on construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which reversed years of bipartisan work and commitment aimed at stopping the pipeline and set up Russian President Putin to complete the pipeline at the expense of American national security and the energy security of our European allies:
'The State Department's report on Nord Stream 2 is an abdication of the Biden administration's legal responsibilities to impose sanctions mandated by Congress, of public commitments made by Secretary Blinken and other State Department officials to block the pipeline, and of the president's responsibility to ensure the national security of the United States.
'For the last two years, members of both parties from Congress worked with the Trump administration to fashion a bipartisan, bicameral, whole-of-government policy that successfully stalled the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Publicly available tracking information indicates that Russian President Putin has successfully revived the project and is now within months of finishing it. The Biden administration is signaling it is willing to let the pipeline be completed with catastrophic implications for American national security and for the energy security of our European allies.
'This report names just two Russian entities, both of which had already been sanctioned. It names just one vessel, the Fortuna. The report names none of the other ships or the legal entities that are linked to renewed, ongoing construction.
'There is no coherent legal justification for this report. Congress has mandated sanctions not just against vessels installing pipes for Nord Stream 2, but against vessels that engage in related pipelaying activities, insurers of those vessels, and companies providing certification services. If the State Department has found that the Fortuna is engaged in sanctionable activity, then the law requires those related entities also be named and sanctioned.
'There is also no coherent national security justification. Without immediate and strong action, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will be completed. Our allies across Europe will be subject to Putin's blackmail and aggression, NATO's ability to act will be severely constrained, and billions will flow into the Kremlin's coffers.
'Over the past few years Democrats have been ceaseless in calling for ever-stronger measures sanctioning and cutting off Russia. It is startling to see the Biden administration begin by handing Putin a victory he has been building towards for over a decade.
'I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Biden administration in reversing the deeply disturbing policies and implications of this report.'
Sen. Cruz has led a years-long bipartisan and bicameral fight to stop Putin's pipeline.