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US warns entities involved in Nord Stream 2 they face more sanctions

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken. (State Department/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The United States has called for “any entity involved” in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany to disengage “immediately” or face U.S. sanctions.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged those entities to pull out of construction on the German-Russian gas project, saying on March 18 that President Joe Biden’s administration was “committed to complying” with the law passed in 2019 and extended in 2020 by the U.S. Congress that provides for sanctions.

“Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal — for Germany, for Ukraine, and for our Central and Eastern European allies and partners,” Blinken said in a statement, reiterating Washington’s long-standing opposition to the $11 billion gas pipeline running under the Baltic Sea.

U.S. officials argue that the pipeline, which is supposed to transport 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia to Germany once a year, will make Europe too dependent on Russian energy supplies.

Blinken denounced it as a “Russian geopolitical project intended to divide Europe and weaken European energy security.”

The State Department “is tracking efforts to complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and is evaluating information regarding entities that appear to be involved,” he added.

So far, Washington has only imposed sanctions on the Russian company KVT-RUS, which operates the pipe-laying vessel Fortuna. These measures were announced by the administration of U.S. president Donald Trump shortly before the end of its term in January.

Supporters of the gas pipeline have long accused the US of undermining the project in order to increase sales of their liquid gas in Europe.