The US Senate is not considering any legislation that would impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski said.
“I don’t believe that there will be any sanctions that are being considered right now. It certainly has been part of the discussion — concern about Nord Stream 2”, Murkowski said Monday. “But I am not aware that there has been anything proposed that we would be acting on”.
The senator added that she has concerns about Russia “utilizing its resource wealth as a political leverage”. The United States has expressed its opposition to the Nord Stream 2 project on numerous occasions, claiming that it was the means of alleged political control used by Russia to exert pressure on the European Union.
The Russian authorities, in turn, argued that the US attitude toward the Nord Stream 2 project was explained by the desire to promote Washington’s economic and energy interests in Europe and rejected the idea that the project might be political in its nature.
Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russian gas giant Gazprom and five European companies. The pipeline is projected to deliver 55 billion cubic meters (1.9 trillion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas annually to countries in the European Union.
International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol told on the sidelines of the annual CERAWeek energy conference in Houston on Monday that the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 is for Russia and the participating countries in Europe to decide.
“North Stream 2 is, of course, between Russia and the countries in the region,” Birol said. “They need to decide what does it bring in terms of economic growth, the energy mix, diversification and also the security of energy supplies between them”.
Nord Stream 2 has been welcomed by some countries in Europe, while others — primarily the United States — have raised concerns over alleged danger of Europe’s energy dependence on Russia and the subsequent diminished transit role of Ukraine.