During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Ernst told host Chris Wallace that she believes Biden should reverse course after he waived sanctions against the operator of the near-completed pipeline in May in order to help repair U.S. relations with Germany. Ukraine, however, strongly opposes the pipeline that would carry Russian gas to Germany, saying it will be used as a geopolitical weapon to deprive Ukraine of needed natural gas imports.
Biden is set to have a video call with Putin on Tuesday to discuss the tense situation in Ukraine amid fears Putin is also planning an imminent military invasion of the country.
“I do think that President Biden needs to be very clear and very strong in his message to Vladimir Putin,” Ernst said. “He needs to say to Vladimir Putin that we are no longer going to allow you to continue with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, we need you to know and understand that we will defend Ukraine, we will provide them assistance. He needs to make that very clear.”
Wallace asked the senator whether Congress “could override the president and block the pipeline.”
“Well, I certainly can’t speak for the House,” Ernst responded, “but I do believe that there is a coalescence around these types of actions in the United States Senate – Democrats are concerned, Republicans are concerned. And what we don’t want to do is allow President Putin to continue with the pipeline, especially as he is preparing, perhaps, to invade Ukraine. So, we do have to push back on that, and I think that there is a large group of United States senators that will push back on Vladimir Putin.”