Friday 12/3/21
ENERGY

US imposes fresh sanctions over Nord Stream 2 pipeline project

Critics see the pipeline as a Russian geopolitical project that endangers Europe's energy security

FILED - Experts on board the laying vessel "Fortuna" connect pipes of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline via water in the Baltic Sea. Photo: Nord Stream 2/dpa - ATTENTION: editorial use only in connection with the latest coverage and only if the credit mentioned above is referenced in full.
Experts on board the laying vessel 'Fortuna' connect pipes of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline via water in the Baltic Sea. Photo: Nord Stream 2/dpa.

The United States is imposing additional sanctions in connection with Nord Stream 2, the controversial German-Russian natural gas pipeline project, the State Department said Monday.

A State Department report submitted to the US Congress lists two vessels and one Russia-linked entity, Transadria Ltd., involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Transadria Ltd. will be sanctioned under Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act (PEESA), and its vessel, the Marlin, will be identified as blocked property, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

With Monday's action, the Biden administration has now sanctioned eight people and identified 17 of their vessels as blocked property in connection with the pipeline project.

"Even as the Administration continues to oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, including via our sanctions, we continue to work with Germany and other allies and partners to reduce the risks posed by the pipeline to Ukraine and frontline NATO and EU countries," Blinken added.

Critics see the pipeline as a Russian geopolitical project that endangers Europe's energy security.

Russian gas to Germany

The US remains highly sceptical of the almost-complete pipeline, but the Biden administration has signalled that it is prepared to soften its stance on the pipeline, which is designed to transport Russian gas to Germany, bypassing Ukraine, which relies on revenue from the gas transit.

Washington and Berlin reached a breakthrough in their conflict regarding Nord Stream 2 in July, when the US decided against drastic sanctions on the pipeline's operator.

But the underwater pipeline suffered another setback last week when German authorities suspended the certification procedure for the project.

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