US Senate blocks State Department appointments over Nord Stream-2

Senator Ted Cruz wants to force the Biden administration to lift its waiver of sanctions against the company that oversees the construction of the pipeline.Thirteen candidates for the State Department are in an uncertain state / en.depositphotos.comThirteen candidates for the State Department are in an uncertain state / ua. depositphotos.com

Senator Ted Cruz is blocking all candidates for important diplomatic posts to put pressure on President Joe Biden’s administration through Russia’s Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline.

This was announced on Saturday, July 3, NBC News .

Thirteen candidates approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are said to be in a state of uncertainty as Cruz delays full Senate approval to force the administration to lift its waiver of sanctions against the company that oversees the pipeline.

At the same time, in most cases, candidates will hold positions not related to US policy on the pipeline through which natural gas will be transported from Russia to Germany.

Among those blocked are Brett Holmgren, who is awaiting approval as Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence, and Daniel Crittenbrink, who has been appointed Assistant Secretary in charge of East Asia and the Pacific. In addition, two deputy ministers have not been approved. The election of President Joe Biden as Assistant Secretary of State for Drug and Law Enforcement Affairs has also been postponed. Ted Cruz is also blocking candidates for ambassadors to six African countries, including Somalia, Algeria and the Congo.

Nord Stream 2: What is known

  • The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction and operation of two branches of a gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. The founder of Nord Stream 2 AG is Russia’s Gazprom. The project is funded by European companies – French Engie, Austrian OMV, British-Dutch Shell, German Uniper and Wintershall.
  • The Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline is already 95% built. The new pipeline bypassing Ukraine was planned to be completed by the end of 2019, along with the existing Nord Stream-1.
  • Construction of the pipeline was suspended due to US sanctions against contractors, but resumed in February 2021. Nord Stream 2 AG decided to complete it on its own.
  • Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov stated that Ukrainian diplomats are doing everything possible to stop the launch of Nord Stream-2. According to him, it is difficult to hinder this project, as there are powerful players in Europe who are interested in cooperating with Russia.
  • Zelensky is convinced that after the launch of Nord Stream 2, Russia will make every effort not to extend the current contract for gas transit through Ukraine.
  • (c)UNIAN 2021

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