US House of Representatives passes amendments to defense budget with new mandatory sanctions against Nord Stream 2 – Naftogaz head
The House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress has adopted amendments to the draft U.S. Defense Authorization Act for 2022 regarding new mandatory sanctions against Nord Stream 2, the head of Naftogaz Yuriy Vitrenko has said.
“The House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress has passed amendments to the defense budget, containing mandatory sanctions against Nord Stream 2… Now it is the turn of the Senate,” Vitrenko wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday, pointing out that this is “an intermediate and important victory, but we need to press by common efforts.”
Later, in another message, he suggested that, taking into account this decision, as well as the decision of the German energy regulator, the Federal Network Agency of Germany, to allow the Polish state-owned company PGNiG to the participation in the certification process of the Nord Stream 2 operator, the chances that this gas pipeline will work in commercial mode in the near future “not so high.”
In the comments to the previous post, Vitrenko added that the sanctions can also be imposed on the operator of the constructed gas pipeline.
“Then European companies will not work with this company, they will not buy gas flowing through this gas pipeline,” the head of Naftogaz said, later adding in the comments that in view of the sanctions on the operator and “no one will buy gas from Gazprom then going through Nord Stream 2.”
In his post, he said that Ukraine continues convincing the U.S. administration of the need to urgently impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2, expressing regret that the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden immediately after his inauguration in January 2021 exercised its right to make a waiver regarding the sanctions for the Nord Stream 2 operator. At the same time, Vitrenko called “surprising” the reasoning behind this decision – “for reasons of national security.”
“We continue convincing the U.S. administration that it is for reasons of national security of the United States, Europe, Ukraine, the entire free world that these sanctions must be urgently imposed,” the head of Naftogaz said.
At the same time, he said that Ukraine is working with the U.S. Congress “so that changes in legislation would remove the possibility of providing such sanction waivers.”
Later, in comments to reporters, Naftogaz Integrated Communications Director Maksym Beliavsky said that if the amendment adopted by the House of Representatives is approved by the entire Congress, it will oblige the U.S. president’s administration to impose sanctions on the Russian pipeline without the possibility of applying the waiver, that is, without a possibility of rejecting it.