From the Document: "Nord Stream 2, a natural gas pipeline nearing completion, is expected to increase the volume of Russia's natural gas export capacity directly to Germany, bypassing Ukraine, Poland, and other transit states. Successive U.S. Administrations and Congresses have opposed Nord Stream 2, reflecting concerns about European dependence on Russian energy and the threat of increased Russian aggression in Ukraine. The German government is a key proponent of the pipeline, which it says will be a reliable source of natural gas as Germany is ending nuclear energy production and reducing coal use. Despite the Biden Administration's stated opposition to Nord Stream 2, the Administration appears to have shifted its focus away from working to prevent the pipeline's completion to mitigating the potential negative impacts of an operational pipeline. Some critics of this approach, including some Members of Congress and the Ukrainian and Polish governments, sharply criticized a U.S.-German joint statement on energy security, issued on July 21, 2021, which they perceived as indirectly affirming the pipeline's completion. Although the statement included a German pledge to increase energy investments in Ukraine and to counter future Russian attempts to 'use energy as a weapon,' it made no mention of halting progress on Nord Stream 2. Critics argue it will be difficult to hold future German governments to its commitments and that the Administration should pursue additional sanctions to prevent the pipeline from becoming operational."
CRS In Focus, IF11138
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/