Russian companies may be added to the sanctions list
The United States will refrain from sanctions against German companies in the near future in connection with the construction of the Nord Stream – 2 gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. This is claimed by the Bloomberg agency, citing sources. According to the article, Joe Biden’s administration is still trying to prevent the implementation of the project but does not want to damage relations between the US and Germany.
According to the law adopted at the end of last year in the U.S., the administration was to submit to Congress by February 16 a list of companies providing services for the construction of the pipeline, against which sanctions could be imposed. According to Bloomberg, the list may be published in the near future, but most likely it will not include German companies – only those linked to Russia.
A number of sources argue that Donald Trump’s administration, shortly before the transfer of power to the Biden administration, had prepared a plan designed, according to its authors, to stop the construction of the pipeline. It also included sanctions against German individuals and entities, including Matthias Warning, a key figure in Nord Stream 2, and a longtime acquaintance of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Only a lack of time has prevented the plan from going into effect. Other sources, however, say that preparations for sanctions under Trump were mired in deliberations. As a result, sanctions were only imposed on a number of Russian vessels and companies – their nominal owners.
White House officials say President Biden considers Nord Stream 2 a “bad deal” for Europe. It is claimed that the US administration will discuss possible steps with its allies. The allies, however, include both the countries opposing the project (Poland and the Baltic states) and those supporting it, in particular Germany.
Earlier it was reported that representatives of the U.S. and Germany are negotiating the fate of the project, and the possibility of creating a mechanism that would link gas supplies via Nord Stream 2 to certain guarantees given to Ukraine is being discussed.
The U.S. opposes the project, arguing that it will increase EU countries’ dependence on Russia and create a threat to Ukraine’s security, questioning the transit of Russian gas through its territory.
Russian authorities claim the project is purely economic and assure that it will be completed.
Work on the completion of the pipeline continues, only a little more than 100 kilometers of pipes remain to be laid.