In their letter
of 15 March, 39 U.S. senators called on the Department of Treasury and the Department of State to utilize all sanction tools at their disposal against Nord Stream 2.
The senators alluded to further reinforcement of Russia’s near-monopoly position on EU energy markets. According to the American lawmakers, the development of Gazprom’s infrastructure projects in Europe is a direct extension of Russia’s aggressive foreign policy. In response to the growing threat to the energy security of U.S. allies in Europe, the senators encourage the Administration to use CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) sanctions against Nord Stream 2 more actively.
The senators note that Section 232 of CAATSA provides the Administration with an additional tool to identify and sanction U.S. and foreign entities supporting the expansion of Gazprom’s near-monopolist role in energy supply to U.S. allies.
“It is clear that the Kremlin uses Gazprom to exert unacceptable and divisive political pressure on sovereign European governments. Russia is attempting to use this influence to break transatlantic resolve on renewing sanctions intended to compel Russia to cease its illegal aggression in Ukraine and to live up to the Minsk commitments to which it has agreed but continues to violate. Congress intended CAATSA to be a tool for the Administration to use in our efforts to support European energy security and we encourage the Administration to carefully examine how CAATSA sanctions can be used to meet that goal. This year will be decisive for the fate of Nord Stream 2. We must ensure that our European allies understand our resolve in supporting their energy independence and the detrimental impact of Nord Stream 2 on their long-term interests,” the senators note.
They also emphasize the danger of Nord Stream 2 for the economy of Ukraine and other current gas transit countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The senators believe that removing gas transit from Ukraine will enable Russia to pursue a large-scale conflict in eastern Ukraine.
“We appreciate the efforts of U.S. senators and other involved politicians who are not afraid to oppose the growing pressure from Russia’s aggressive foreign policy with Nord Stream 2 as its latest tool. We will further increase awareness of the Gazprom monopoly spreading across European energy markets and using gas deliveries as a weapon. Ukraine has significant experience with Gazprom as an unpredictable partner that uses gas deliveries as a tool for political pressure. We will make every possible effort to prevent Gazprom from exerting pressure on EU member states, as it did with Ukraine,” Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev commented.
Corporate Communications Department
NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine