Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is to get a vote this week on a bill to sanction Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The pipeline is a key way for Russia to ship energy to Western Europe, notably Germany.
Ukrainian officials are heavily lobbying US senators to vote for the sanctions, claiming the pipeline amounts to “an existential threat” to Ukrainian interests. Ukrainians added that supporting them necessarily means opposing the pipeline.
Historically, Russia exported gas to Europe through Ukraine. They believed they needed a direct line because Ukraine has a large unpaid gas debt, and Russian companies expressed concern that shipping that way would encourage Ukrainian companies to try to siphon off some of that gas.
German officials support the pipeline and are warning the US against getting involved. Chancellor Scholz called the pipeline a “private sector project,” and said targeting it would not be suitable as a way to go after Russia.