Rand Paul Breaks with GOP on Nord Stream 2 Sanctions

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. / Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Sen. Rand Paul broke with Republicans over potential legislation reimposing Nord Stream 2 pipeline sanctions on a Russian state-run company.

Lawmakers who argue in favor of sanctioning the pipeline, which would carry natural gas from Russia to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea, are more concerned with “mercantilism and protectionism” rather than national security, the Republican senator argued in an editorial published by The American Conservative on Monday. Paul also questioned whether an aggressive sanctions regime would have the desired effect of preventing Russian aggression in Ukraine.

“Opponents of the pipeline, not surprisingly, are largely from states that compete in the sale of natural gas,” Paul wrote. “Acknowledging that this debate is only superficially about national security and really more about provincial protectionism helps us better understand the dynamics.”

“History demonstrates that trade and interconnectedness between nations is a barrier to war. Engaging in mutually beneficial commerce coupled with a potent military deterrence is the combination that best promises peace,” he said.

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