US to expand sanctions against Nord Stream 2

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The US will expand sanctions on vessels operating under the Nord Stream 2 project to prevent them from completing the pipeline. This was reported on Tuesday, October 20, by The Wall Street Journal with reference to the directive of the US administration.

The new sanctions will affect companies providing services or financing for the installation of equipment on ships operating under the Nord Stream 2 project.

“The State Department has expanded the range of sanctions against the unfinished and Russian-backed gas pipeline, which is seen as a source of tension between Germany, Russia and the United States,” The Wall Street Journal notes.

The State Department also accused Moscow of using pipelines “to create national and regional dependence on Russian energy supply in order to use this dependence to expand its political, economic and military influence, weaken the security of Europe and undermine the national security and external political interests of the United States.”

In recent months, the US authorities have been actively trying to hinder the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project.

The draft US defense budget, prepared in Congress, provides for tougher sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream gas pipelines. The draft proposes to tighten the existing sanctions.

The project provides for sanctions for facilitating the sale, lease or provision of pipe-laying vessels for the construction of gas pipelines, the provision of insurance and reinsurance, as well as services or facilities for the technical modernization of vessels associated with the construction of the gas pipeline.

The US continues to put pressure on European companies involved in the construction of the gas pipeline. For example, US senators demanded that the Mukran port operator stop supporting the project, threatening “financial destruction”.

The gas pipeline is being built from Russia to Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Due to the US sanctions imposed in December, the construction of SP-2 was suspended, as the Swiss company All Seas was forced to withdraw its pipe-laying vessels from the Baltic.

The EU and the US are urging to abandon the project because of the incident with blogger Alexei Navalny.

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