July 20, 2021

According to numerous reported sources, the White House is imminently preparing to announce a deal between the United States and Germany regarding Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline in the coming days. Presumably citing “U.S. national interests,” any continued waiving of sanctions against the company behind the project — Nord Stream 2 AG and its CEO — would contradict in letter and spirit the intent behind the bipartisan sanctions regime passed by Congress in 2019 and expanded in 2020: preventing the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the representative organization of nearly 2 million Americans of Ukrainian descent, agrees with the United States Congress, the White House and the US State Department in their estimation of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline: Nord Stream 2 is a geopolitical scheme designed to provide Putin’s Russia with additional malign influence on our European allies and partners. UCCA took President Joe Biden at his word when he described the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as “a fundamentally bad deal for Europe” specifically because, in his words, it would “lock in great reliance on Russia [which] will fundamentally destabilize Ukraine.”

In light of Vladimir Putin recently publishing a bizarre 5,000-word manifesto professing his imperial ambitions in Ukraine, Belarus and other nations, and the US Defense Department confirming that close to 80,000 Russian troops remain on the border with Ukraine (the biggest force Russia has amassed there since 2014), why does the White House seek to abuse Congress’ “National Security” sanctions waiver for the benefit of Vladimir Putin? Congressional sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 project are mandatory, not discretionary, and the President is bound by the Constitution to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” The United States should not only fully administer congressionally mandated sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, it should further sanction any of the subcontractors that work on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to ratchet up the pressure on Russia to finally leave Ukrainian territory. UCCA calls on President Biden to maintain the commitments made to our allies in Eastern Europe and continue America’s bipartisan record of support for Ukraine.