US Senate committee proposes bill to help Ukraine, lobbies Nord Stream 2

The pipes of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea are stored at a site in the port of Mukran in Sassnitz, Germany, September 10, 2020. REUTERS / Hannibal Hanschke / File Photo

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday introduced a bill to provide assistance to Ukraine in its struggle with Russia and to put pressure on companies helping to build Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which could deprive Kiev of lucrative transit fees.

the Ukraine Security Partnership Law, which was approved by voice vote, authorizes $ 300 million in foreign military funding, of which $ 150 million would be subject to conditions. It must be passed in the entire Senate and House of Representatives and signed by President Joe Biden to become law.

Ukraine is seeking international support in its standoff with Moscow over an accumulation of Russian troops on its eastern border and in Crimea, which Russia annexed to Ukraine in 2014.

Kiev and Moscow have exchanged blame for a ceasefire collapse in the eastern Donbass region, where Ukrainian troops have fought Russian-backed forces in a conflict According to Kiev, it has killed 14,000 people since 2014. find out more

“Ukrainians have the right to choose their own future, and this bill contributes to that by supporting Western-style military reforms, lethal and non-lethal military equipment to defend against Russia, and US diplomatic support for negotiations of peace, ”said Sen. Jim Risch, the committee’s senior Republican, said in a statement.

The bill contains an amendment by Republican Senator Ted Cruz that requires the State Department to determine whether 20 ships, including the Akademik Cherskiy, Umka and Errieit, are subject to US sanctions for helping to build the North Pipeline Stream 2, a Russian gas project to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Determination is required within 15 days of passage.

The pipeline, run by Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom (GAZP.MM) and its Western allies, would bypass Ukraine, robbing it of billions of dollars in transit fees and likely undermining the country’s efforts against Russian aggression. Biden said the pipeline is a bad deal for Europe, but the project is about 95% complete.

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