The US Congress Approved The Draft Defense Budget With Sanctions Against Nord Stream 2
The House of Representatives of the US Congress approved the draft defense budget for the next financial year, which provides, among other things, tougher sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream gas pipelines, local media reported. The bill was approved by 295 votes in favor, 125 congressmen opposed it.
The $740.5 billion defense budget proposed by the House of Representatives covers several aspects, from creating a $3.6 billion Fund to fight China in the Indo-Pacific region to allocating $1 billion to help the Pentagon prepare for a pandemic in the context of the coronavirus crisis.
As for the Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream gas pipelines, the new draft proposes to tighten existing sanctions. In particular, the project provides for sanctions for "facilitating the sale, lease or provision" of pipe-laying vessels for the construction of gas pipelines," providing insurance and reinsurance," as well as services or premises for "technical modernization" of vessels related to the construction of the gas pipeline.
Besides, the project provides for the allocation of almost $3.8 billion for the "European deterrence initiative" program.
The bill also includes provisions aimed at prohibiting US President Donald Trump from reducing the number of US military personnel in Germany and Afghanistan, as well as limiting the use of funds from the military budget for the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico.
The second Senate version of the defense budget is expected to be passed by the Upper House of Congress later this week.
The House and Senate must agree on their versions of the bill before sending it to President Donald Trump for signature.
Earlier, the American leader threatened to veto the project.