U.S. Senate to Hold Votes on Cruz's Nord Stream 2 Sanctions Bill

- 13 January 2022 21:54 WIB
Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline will cross Europe, connecting from Russia to Germany (Commons Wikimedia/Gerd Fahrenhorst)
Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline will cross Europe, connecting from Russia to Germany (Commons Wikimedia/Gerd Fahrenhorst)

JAKARTADAILY.ID - The U.S. Senate is set to vote on a sanction bill pushed by GOP Senator Ted Cruz of Texas on the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline in Europe, per Reuters on Wednesday.

Cruz will need 60 votes to pass the bill, which is considered a high number in the evenly divided chamber.

Baca Juga: No Concessions During Talks with The U.S., Says Russia

The sanction bill raised concerns amongst top Senate Democrats and the Biden administration. Backing away from the sanction would make the U.S. appear "soft", although the country wants to send Russia's Putin a strong message amid rising tensions with Ukraine. Meanwhile, approving the plan would mean undermining U.S. efforts to deter threats from Kremlin.

Cruz's bill will set sanctions on the pipeline within 15 days of approval, regardless of Kremlin reinvades Kyiv. Moreover, the sanctions can be reinstated when needed should the president waive them.

Last week, the $ 11 billion pipelines could be approved by German regulators in mid-2022. However, the U.S. and some European countries, including Ukraine and Poland are against the pipeline. Should the pipeline be approved, Kyiv would be deprived of transit fees and at the same time increase Moscow's power over Europe, which has been struggling with the price of natural gas.

Baca Juga: EU Leaders Warn Russia of Further Sanction Amid Threats of Invasion

As an alternative to the sanction bill, the Democrats have drafted a bill to impose sanctions on the Russian government, military officials, and key banking institutions once Kremlin engages in hostilities against Kyiv. The plan is led by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, and said to include language dealing with the Baltic region.

"It's a strong message to Putin -- much better than the Cruz approach," said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin.

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Editor: Djauhari Effendi

Source: Reuters, CNN

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