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Republicans block US Senate defense budget

North Stream 2 logo

Republicans want to stop the North Stream 2 pipeline from operating.

(Photo: dpa)

Washington The controversy over sanctions against the North Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea has contributed to the temporary siege of the U.S. defense budget for the coming year. Republicans in the U.S. Senate on Monday evening (local time) blocked a vote on the Security Budget (NDAA) package using procedural rules.

Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell justified the move by saying Democrats refused to include a change in the Nord Stream 2 law. Following this change, US President Joe Biden will not be exempt from US sanctions due to Nord Stream 2 for national security reasons.

With the amendment to the law, many Republican senators want to stop the pipeline operation, which is said to bring gas from Russia to Germany via Ukraine. Democrat Biden granted special permits (“presidential rebates”) in May, freeing the Swiss-based Nord Stream 2 AG and its German executive director from US sanctions.

Chuck Schumer, Democrat majority leader, called the siege “unheard of.” Schumer said: “Democrats will continue to work to ensure that our troops are paid and that our core defense programs continue.”

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McConnell accused Schumacher of delaying the introduction of the package and, for example, of trying to stifle discussions of “Russian occupation.” He called Nord Stream 2 “the pipeline that provoked Putin’s encroachment in Europe.” Democrats need the votes of several Republicans to get the defense budget voted on in the Senate.

German-American relations are also likely to suffer if new rules are demanded by Republicans. The American news site “Axios” on Sunday, citing classified documents from the German embassy in Washington, said the German government had warned Congress about sanctions on Nord Stream 2 – signaling the victory of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a year-long dispute over the project, the federal government and the Biden government announced a turning point in July. They issued a joint statement pledging their support for Ukraine. For two years the North Stream was heavily criticized by the United States. Biden later admitted that the United States could not block the pipeline.

Further: Nord Stream 2 Completion: Administrative assistance to Gazprom angered the United States

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