Senator Cruz puts hold on Biden’s CIA pick Burns over Nord Stream 2 pipeline By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Senate Intelligence Committee holds hearing on William Burns nomination to be CIA director on Capitol Hill in Washington


By Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Ted Cruz put a hold late on Friday on President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Central Intelligence Agency to pressure the administration to put tough sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

The Senate Intelligence Committee this week backed William Burns, a former ambassador to Russia, by a unanimous vote. Burns has been confirmed by the Senate for five previous jobs over 33 years and is expected to eventually be approved by the full Senate.

The hold is a delaying tactic as the Texas senator pressures the administration to sanction ships and companies helping Russia’s state energy company Gazprom (MCX:) build the $11 billion pipeline to take gas under the Baltic Sea to Europe via Germany.

“I’ll release my hold when the Biden admin meets its legal obligation to report and sanction the ships and companies building (Russia President Vladimir) Putin’s pipeline,” Cruz wrote on Twitter late on Friday. The move was first reported by Bloomberg.

After a year’s delay caused by sanctions, Gazprom is racing to finish the pipeline which analysts expect could happen by September. A second vessel, the Akademik Cherskiy, has joined the construction site off Denmark.

President Joe Biden believes the pipeline is a “bad deal for Europe” the White House has said. The pipeline would bypass Ukraine depriving it of lucrative transit fees and could undermine its efforts against Russian aggression. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

U.S. lawmakers from both parties who oppose the project believe about 15 ships are helping to build the pipeline. But the State Department last month only sanctioned one ship in a report to Congress required by sanctions law.

Forty Republican Senators said in a letter to Biden this week that the sanction against the Fortuna vessel will not stop the pipeline, which as of February had about 75 miles (120 km) left to go off Denmark and 19 miles (30 km) off Germany.

The State Department is due to submit to Congress another report on Nord Stream 2 on May 16, which could contain more sanctions, though spokesman Ned Price has said sanctions are only “one of many tools” that can be used.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.