U.S. House passes bill providing for assistance to Ukraine and sanctions against Nord Stream 2

U.S. House passes bill providing for assistance to Ukraine and sanctions against Nord Stream 2

Ukrinform
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved an appropriations bill that includes an amendment mandating sanctions against Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

That’s according to the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, Ukrinform reports citing the embassy’s Facebook post.

"The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill to fund the U.S. State Department in 2022 with an increase in aid to Ukraine and an amendment on sanctions targeting Nord Stream 2," the statement said.

Read also: Nord Stream 2, U.S. Congress, and political risks for Biden

The bill provides for the allocation of at least $481.5 million in assistance programs to Ukraine through the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and related programs. This is $28.5 million more than in the current year's budget. Of this budget, $125 million is allocated to assist Ukraine in the field of security through the "Foreign Military Financing" tool, which is receiving $10 million more than this year.

It should be recalled that, in order to for the bill to be enacted, it is yet to pass the Senate and be signed by the U.S. president.

Read also: European Parliament releases tough statement on US-Germany agreement on Nord Stream 2

As Ukrinform reported earlier, on July 21, the U.S. and German governments issued a joint declaration outlining their position on the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The document has sparked massive criticism, including from Ukraine. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had sent formal requests for consultations with Germany and the EU, in line with the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.

Nord Stream 2: Background

Nord Stream 2 is a Russian gas pipeline under construction, bypassing Ukraine. It is being laid along the Baltic Sea seabed to connect Russia and Germany. The project cost is estimated at EUR 9.5 billion. The sole shareholder is Russia’s energy giant OJSC Gazprom. In December 2019, construction was suspended due to sanctions imposed by the U.S. government. At the time, the pipeline was 96% complete.

The new U.S. administration, led by President Joe Biden, now says it is impossible to stop the construction of the pipe at this stage.

At the same time, criticizing the U.S.-German agreement, Co-Chair of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus Marcy Kaptur said "Congress must reject any deals that fail to protect transatlantic security and Ukraine's sovereignty," as reported by Ukrinform.

In turn, the European Commission reminded that in case of completion of the gas pipeline, it will be subject to the provisions of the so-called EU Gas Directive, which does not allow the monopoly use of such infrastructure.

The Commissioner for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia with Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Matthias Lüttenberg, stated his country’s readiness to hold consultations on Nord Stream 2, initiated by Ukraine.

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