Portman Votes to Sanction Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

Says Sanctions Critical in Defending Ukraine Against Threat from Russia and Preserving Energy Security in Europe

January 13, 2022 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) voted today to impose sanctions on companies and individuals responsible for the planning, construction and operation of the Kremlin-financed Nord Stream 2 pipeline (NS2) project that would carry natural gas from Russia to Europe. In 2021, President Biden refused to impose congressionally-mandated sanctions on the Nord Stream holding company, which allowed the pipeline to be completed. The pipeline is not yet certified and will be unable to ship gas until it is, however certification of the pipeline would result in the loss of Ukraine as a major transit point for the delivery of natural gas to Europe while emboldening President Putin’s geopolitical leverage over the region through the control of natural gas supplies. Fifty-five senators among both parties supported the Protecting Europe's Energy Security Implementation Act but it failed to clear a 60-vote margin for passage. Senator Portman released the following statement:

“Russia is engaged in a massive military buildup threatening Ukraine and our European allies and has made it clear that they seek to impose their authoritarian vision on free democracies like Ukraine. This is the worst time to waive sanctions on a pipeline that will threaten the energy security of Europe and circumvent the transit routes through Ukraine. This would pave the way for President Putin to manipulate the supply of natural gas to Europe. Russia routinely uses its energy resources as a geopolitical weapon to extract concessions, most recently from the government of Moldova. There is no reason to believe that Russia won’t do so again to our allies and partners once the pipeline is certified.

“Congress should do everything in its power to ensure the pipeline is not certified and does not become operational. Sanctioning the individuals and companies involved in constructing the pipeline strengthens our negotiating hand by taking away a revenue stream that President Putin seeks to weaponize.”