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Washington, D.C.- House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul released the following statement in response to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak’s comments linking the certification of the Russian malign influence Nord Stream 2 pipeline project to Russia’s role in the European gas crisis. The Kremlin has been withholding gas supplies to Europe, leading to a sharp increase in gas prices and low storage levels ahead of the winter across the continent. Novak’s comments suggesting an operational Nord Stream 2 pipeline could help bring down gas prices in Europe came the same day as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s suggestion that Gazprom might be willing to increase supply to Europe.

“President Biden and Chancellor Merkel committed to taking action should Russia attempt to use energy as a weapon. Yet, both have turned a blind eye to the Putin regime’s deliberate efforts to pressure Europe into accelerating the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline’s certification process by manipulating Europe’s gas market and leveraging a severe energy crisis on the continent. If the Biden Administration fails to immediately remove the waiver on critical Nord Stream 2 sanctions and stop the pipeline, he will be gifting the Russian president another weapon of malign influence to wield against Ukraine and our other European partners.”