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US Moves to Sanction Russia-Led Gas Pipeline Nord Stream 2

US Moves to Sanction Russia-Led Gas Pipeline Nord Stream 2US Moves to Sanction Russia-Led Gas Pipeline Nord Stream 2

US lawmakers have included sanctions on companies helping Russia’s gas giant Gazprom to complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project in the National Defense Authorization Act for the US defense in 2020.
The sanctions in the bill, which US lawmakers must pass to authorize defense expenditures, would target subsea construction vessels that lay the pipeline and managers at firms connected with those vessels, two people familiar with the bill told Bloomberg.
US lawmakers have sought to pass a bill to levy sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 project, which the United States sees as further undermining Europe’s energy security by giving Russian gas giant Gazprom another pipeline to ship its natural gas to European markets.
Germany, the end point of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, looks at the economic benefits of the project, while the US has been threatening sanctions on the project and even on Germany over its support for the project.
The US, several European countries, including the Baltic states and Poland, as well as the European Union have expressed concern about Russia using gas sales and its gas monopoly in Gazprom as a political tool.
But in October, Denmark granted the Gazprom-led project permission to build the pipeline through Danish territorial waters, which cleared the final major hurdle to the construction and start-up of the pipeline that has been dividing Europe and drawing criticism from the US for years.
Currently, the pipeline is expected to come on stream in the middle of 2020, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said last month, adding that construction of the project was 80% complete.
Potential sanctions from the US could delay the start-up of the project as they could complicate the subsea pipe laying work with contractors.

 

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