The US has warned European companies against sanctions for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline
Earlier this year, the US State Department warned European companies suspected of supporting the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that they were risking sanctions as the outgoing Donald Trump administration was preparing the final round of sanctions.
According to Reuters, which referred to two sources from the US government, the State Department should publish a report no later than Friday (January 15) on companies that, according to the US, are helping to complete the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
“We are trying to inform companies about the risks they face and persuade them to withdraw from the project before it is too late,” said one government source, who did not want to be named.
Companies that may appear in the report include pipeline assistance companies, providing equipment or insurance. These could include Zurich Insurance Group, a source told Reuters.
Neither the insurance company nor the Nord Stream 2 consortium implementing the project commented on the information.
The $ 11 billion (€ 9.05 billion) project, one of Russia’s most significant energy projects in Europe, has significantly increased tensions between Russia and the United States.
The Trump administration rejects the project, saying it will increase Russia‘s political and economic influence in Europe. However, according to Moscow, as well as Germany, to which the pipeline will run after the bottom of the Baltic Sea, this is a purely commercial project.
The German government claims that the country will need more gas, as it ends the operation of both coal and nuclear power plants for environmental and safety reasons. Moscow, on the other hand, accuses Washington of solely increasing its supplies of liquefied gas to Europe.
During the Barack Obama era, the newly elected US President Joe Biden, who was vice president of the Obama administration, did not agree with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. It is currently unclear whether he will be willing to compromise after taking power in the White House on 20 January.
Gazprom suspended work on the project at the end of 2019, when the US imposed sanctions and the first companies withdrew from the project. However, work resumed at the end of last year and is now more than 90% complete. Only a few tens of kilometers off the coast of Denmark remain to be completed.