January 13, 2022
(Washington, DC) – US Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, released the following statement after voting against Senator Cruz’s Nord Stream 2 legislation earlier today. The legislation did not garner enough votes to pass the Senate:
“My position on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has never wavered: it must not be completed or become operational at the risk of being militarized by the Kremlin. I have spearheaded actions over the years to shut down the pipeline, including my partnership with Senator Cruz on the penalties that were included in the fiscal year 2021 defense bill and led to the shutdown of pipeline construction. Yesterday I joined Senator Menendez and the Senate Democrats on comprehensive legislation that would have equal weight and deterrence, without including provisions like those in Senator Cruz’s legislation that undermine workplace diplomacy and risk to interfere with the work of the Senate. More importantly: our legislation responds to the political crisis we face today with regard to Russia’s increased aggression and provocations – not the situation we faced years ago when our efforts to shut down Nord Stream 2 have begun,” Shaheen said.
Shaheen continued, “The Democrats’ proposed path would impose significant punitive consequences on Putin for continuing nefarious activity that threatens Ukraine, increase military aid to Ukraine to defend itself, and maintain the position that Nord Stream 2 should not not be completed or become operational. These are also all policies that Republicans support. While I appreciate the intent of Senator Cruz’s legislation, not only does it fail to address the current pipeline situation – which has led to a pause in certification by the new German government because of the Biden administration’s diplomatic efforts – but it would create a cumbersome process in the Senate that risks further burdening important legislative work. obstruction has hampered our national security with unprecedented freezes on appointments of key ambassadors, including assignments c crucial to the European Union and NATO. Senator Cruz’s tactics have created national security risks in the very region that we seek to resolve. We cannot allow this obstruction to resume.
Shaheen concluded, “It’s not a question of whether to shut down the pipeline — that’s clear and agreed upon by Democrats and Republicans. The question is how. The legislation Democrats are proposing covers the full scope of the threat we face and the punitive response that is needed to swiftly punish Putin if he continues to violate the territorial integrity of Ukraine. We need to unite our efforts at this critical time to support security European Union and our broader global stability. I urge Senate Republicans to reaffirm our bipartisan resolve to help Ukraine and support us in holding Putin to account.
Yesterday Shaheen helped introduce the 2022 Law on Defense of Sovereignty of Ukraine, which would impose crippling sanctions on the Russian banking sector and senior military and government officials if President Putin escalates his hostile actions in or against Ukraine.
Senator Shaheen has long led efforts in the Senate to hold Russia accountable for its malign activities against the United States and our allies. Due to her role as negotiator of the Russian sanctions legislation known as “CAATSA” and her successful efforts to ban Kaspersky Lab software from running on US systems, Shaheen was sanctioned by the Kremlin in 2017. Shaheen co-authored the Nord Stream 2 legislation to stop construction of the pipeline in order to preserve Europe’s energy independence and prevent Vladimir Putin from spreading the Kremlin’s harmful influence throughout the region . This bipartisan bill imposed targeted sanctions on vessels involved in the installation of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. It was signed into law in 2019 as part of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Shaheen built on its work in the FY21 NDAA that became law by adding a provision that further clarifies these sanctions, which target companies working with Russian vessels sent to complete the pipeline. The senator’s previous bipartisan effort led to a pipeline construction freeze.
Senator Shaheen is also a member of the Ukrainian Senate Caucus. In June, Shaheen led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, to underscore the United States’ commitment to Ukraine as it strives to achieve its pro-democracy aspirations. . Last month, Shaheen helped lead a bipartisan resolution expressing support for an independent and democratic Ukraine, safe from further Russian military aggression. In December, Shaheen wrote an editorial in the Washington Post with Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) on the bipartisan pledge in Congress to stand with Ukraine amid provocations and aggression from Russia, an actionable item the Biden administration can take to deal with the current situation.