Ted Cruz Slams Biden for Failing to Impose Sanctions Over Nord Stream 2

Ted Cruz Slams Biden for Failing to Impose Sanctions Over Nord Stream 2 Sen. Ted Cruz Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By Charlie McCarthy | Tuesday, 25 January 2022 12:44 PM

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took to social media to say President Joe Biden’s refusal to impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has helped fuel the possibility of Ukraine being invaded by Russia.

"One year ago today, Putin restarted deep sea pipelaying of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline," Cruz tweeted early Monday evening.

"When President Biden confirmed he wouldn't impose Cruz-Shaheen mandatory sanctions, Ukraine & Poland warned the result would be a security catastrophe. Biden ignored them. They were right."

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said imposing economic sanctions right now would undercut the West's ability to deter potential Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Cruz and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., had co-sponsored a bipartisan bill that would have placed sanctions on the Nord Stream 2. But even Shaheen voted against the legislation Jan. 13 after fellow Democrats unveiled their own bill.

Cruz’s bill would have put sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG, the company building the project, and would have allowed Congress to vote to overturn any waiver of sanctions by Biden.

"Only immediately imposing sanctions can change Putin's calculation, stop a Ukrainian invasion, and lift the existential threat posed by Nord Stream 2," Cruz said then.

A bill sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., would put sanctions on the pipeline, Russian officials, and entities after any aggression on Ukraine by Moscow. However, the bill has not been scheduled for a vote.

Politico reported that eight senators from both parties met on a Zoom call Monday evening to hammer out a Russia sanctions bill that would bolster U.S. efforts to deter Putin from invading Ukraine.

Republicans supportive of sanctioning Russia want at least some penalties imposed before any invasion of Ukraine, not after the fact, as Biden's administration currently plans.

Items discussed included:

  • Providing Ukraine with more security and anti-propaganda aid.
  • Giving Biden immediate sanctions authority.
  • Giving Biden the option to waive the sanctions.
  • Enhancing to Ukraine's cybercapabilities.

One Politico source said the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline remained the biggest issue. Specifically, how to phrase language about it without undercutting the administration's negotiations with Germany on a broader sanctions package.

Politico said the talks were in in the very early stages.

The senators involved on the call included Republican Sens. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Rob Portman, R-Ohio, John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Democrat Sens. Menendez, Shaheen, Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Ben Cardin, D-Md.

Original Article