Sat Jul 27, 2019, 08:01 PM

Sen. Rand Paul Fights Sanctions on Russian Pipeline

Advocates for a massive Russian natural gas pipeline project have a powerful, quiet ally in Congress: Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and close friend of President Donald Trump. He has quietly worked against sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 project, which would dramatically expand Russia’s shipments of natural gas to Germany.

Critics say it would also dramatically expand Russia’s influence in Western Europe while harming Ukraine. The Trump administration has weighed sanctioning the project, but has yet to do so. And Trump himself has criticized it.

On Thursday, the senator postponed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s mark-up of legislation that would have put sanctions on the project, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the committee’s proceedings. And while Paul hasn’t publicized his opposition to the proposed sanctions, he sent Senate colleagues a letter before the mark-up explaining his stance. The letter, which The Daily Beast obtained, argues that the legislation in question–a bipartisan bill introduced by Sens. Ted Cruz and Jeanne Shaheen–doesn’t clearly state which entities would be sanctioned.

“This means that, ultimately, we are voting blind as to who will be sanctioned under this bill,” Paul wrote. “Congress would once again pass on our authority to the Executive Branch, thus abandoning our constitutional responsibility to make laws.”

Though the letter criticizes the legislation for being vague about the sanctions’ targets, it also says the sanctions would directly impact two specific companies–one Italian, and the other Swiss.

“These sanctions would not be felt by the Russians, but by companies from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Finland, Sweden, and Italy, as well as their investors,” Paul wrote.


I've always liked the "Paul's" ...

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