by Soeren Kern
U.S. lawmakers have warned that the pipeline would funnel billions of dollars to Moscow and help Russian President Vladimir Putin solidify his influence in Europe. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Republican Senator James Risch, said in a statement:
"Projects such as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline are a threat to European energy security and a provocation by the Russian government. Imposing sanctions that will prevent the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is an important tool to counter Russia's malign influence and to protect the integrity of Europe's energy sector.... I hope all parties involved will realize that stopping this project is in the best interest of our friends and allies who wish to curb Putin's efforts to make Europe reliant on Russian energy."
Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen added:
"The Nord Stream 2 project is another means by which Russia can spread its malign influence by exploiting Europe's energy dependence — a tactic that the Kremlin has a history of deploying. Many European leaders have voiced their concerns loud and clear regarding this pipeline and the threat it poses to Europe's independence.... I believe that this bill will help preserve our collective efforts within the transatlantic alliance to counter Russian aggression."