Ukraine Caucus Calls on State Department to Sanction Nord Stream 2, Take Action to Strengthen Energy Security in Eastern Europe
Today, the Congressional Ukraine Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Andy Harris (R-MD), Mike Quigley (D-IL), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), sent the following letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressing deep concern with the state of energy security in Ukraine and Central and Eastern Europe. In the letter, the Members called on the Department of State to increase efforts to bolster energy resilience by fully sanctioning Nord Stream 2 as mandated by PEESCA as amended and consistent with Congressional intent, increase diplomatic action to counter the purging of Naftogaz leadership, and strengthen efforts to fulfill the U.S. pledge to invest $300 million of U.S. financing into the Three Seas Fund.
“We strongly urge the Department to increase efforts to bolster energy resilience by sanctioning Nord Stream 2 as mandated by PEESCA as amended and consistent with Congressional intent, increase diplomatic action to counter the purging of Naftogaz leadership, and strengthen efforts to fulfill the U.S. pledge to invest $300 million of U.S. financing into the Three Seas Fund,” the Members wrote.
“Tragically, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin seeks to sow discord in the Transatlantic alliance through hybrid warfare operations. This includes weaponizing energy to weaken democratic institutions and solidarity through the export of strategic corruption,” the Members continued. “As you well know, Russian authorities now seek to complete Nord Stream 2 as a political and economic weapon to cut off critical gas transit through Ukraine and to increase its leverage over Europe. That is why the European Parliament along with several European countries have joined the United States in calling for the project to be stopped. On May 17, the next report to Congress that is required to list all entities sanctionable under the PEESCA as amended is due. We strongly urge you to include in this report all entities openly engaged in sanctionable pipe-laying activities, including Nord Stream AG and all vessels and project-linked insurance and certification companies supporting the Fortuna and Akademik Cherskiy pipe-laying vessels, pursuant to the legislation and clear bipartisan Congressional intent.”
The Members go on, “We are deeply concerned with the Ukrainian government’s purging of the Naftogaz supervisory board and CEO, which puts Ukraine’s energy and national security at risk. This deeply misguided move opens up Ukraine’s energy sector to increased corruption from and vulnerability to malign actors including Ukraine’s rapacious oligarch class and Russian corrosive capital… we ask that the Department increase efforts to help Ukraine become more energy secure by restoring the integrity of Naftogaz and corporate governance in the energy sector and beyond. This starts with a legitimate process to assemble a new Naftogaz Supervisory Board in consultation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund, European Commission, United States, and other credible international stakeholders.”
“We are thankful for your robust statement of support for the Three Seas Initiative, but remain concerned that the U.S. Development Finance Corporation has yet to take meaningful action to operationalize the commitment of $300 million of U.S. financing into the Three Seas Fund,” the Members concluded. “For this reason, we urge the Administration to recommit efforts to fulfill the DFC pledge to invest in the Fund. This should be an important element to increase the resilience our allies and partners against increasing malign influence from Russia and China.”
The full letter can be found HERE.