US threatens to go through with sanctions over Nord Stream 2 pipeline
The government of the United States is increasing its pressure on people and companies associated with the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany again, reported dpa. “This pipeline is not happening”, a high-ranking government representative told the news agency. “This is what a dying pipeline looks like,“ the source added. The US government had identified a number of companies and people who, according to the sanctions act targeting Nord Stream 2, were going to be subject to penalties.
The parties concerned are currently being contacted and informed about the pending penalties, the article says. "We are making these calls to warn them and give them time to get out," said the government representative. Calling the pipeline a “geopolitcal project that Russia would use to blackmail European countries”, the source suggested that companies concerned should “apply force majeure clauses to withdraw their participation in Nord Stream 2”. He didn’t disclose which companies would be contacted.
Construction of the 2,460km gas pipeline between Russia and Germany was halted by the construction ships after the US enacted a sanctions bill (PEESA) in December 2019. Nord Stream 2 has been completed but for about 100 km. No sanctions have yet been imposed under PEESA. Some investors have assured the US government that they would not increase their investment to help the project continue, according to the dpa source. Nord Stream 2 itself states that all five investors and shareholders continued to support the project.
Germany has been debating a stop to the pipeline project, which has been contested by stakeholders in Germany, several of the country's neighbours and the United States government. Nord Stream 2 is to transport natural gas directly from Russia to Germany through twin pipelines underneath the Baltic Sea. Proponents argue the pipeline is a commercial investment that is key to Europe's supply security as domestic natural gas production declines.