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Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill fails to pass in US Senate

A bill to impose sanctions related to a key pipeline that will send natural gas from Russia to the European Union failed to pass in the Senate on Thursday.

The 55-43 interim vote tally means the legislation, introduced by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, has failed to pass a key 60-vote procedural hurdle in the 100-member Senate. The vote remains open, but is certain to result in defeat.

The bill would have imposed sanctions on the company currently building Nord Stream 2.

Speaking ahead of the vote, Cruz described his legislation as a bid to prevent an existential threat to Ukraine that he said is posed by Nord Stream 2.

"The Senate is going to take a vote of incalculable importance to our national security, to the future of our allies in Europe, and to the very existence of the nation of Ukraine," he said on the Senate floor.

Critics of the pipeline, including Cruz and others, have maintained that it is a means by which Russian President Vladimir Putin can circumvent an existing gas pipeline that sends Russian gas through Ukraine and on to Europe, and thereby limit the consequences to him of invading the eastern European nation.

US President Joe Biden has already imposed sanctions on at least 16 ships and seven individuals in relation to the pipeline. But Cruz has demanded further action under existing US law that mandates sanctions on those involved in the project.

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