The US State Department reiterated its warning that any entity involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline risks US sanctions and should immediately abandon work on the pipeline. This warning comes after the US expanded its sanctions targeting the Nord Stream 2 project, last summer.
ord Stream is a system of offshore natural gas pipelines from Russia to Germany. It includes two lines running from Vyborg to Greifswald forming the original Nord Stream (NS1), and two lines running from UstLuga to Greifswald termed Nord Stream 2 (NS2). NS1 is owned and operated by Nord Stream AG, whose majority shareholder is the Russian state company Gazprom, and NS2 is owned and will be operated by Nord Stream 2 AG, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gazprom.
NS1 was completed on 8 October 2012. Work to lay NS2 took place between 2018–2019 but has been disrupted by US sanctions. Prior to the imposition of US sanctions, it had been expected to become operational in mid-2020.
As multiple US administrations have made clear, this pipeline is a Russian geopolitical project intended to divide Europe and weaken European energy security. The sanctions legislation Congress passed in 2019 and expanded in 2020 has significant support from a bipartisan Congressional majority,
…an official statement by State Department last week reads.
The US Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act (PEESA) states that sanctions are to be implemented against foreign persons and entities who are determined to have knowingly:
- sold, leased, or provided, or facilitated selling, leasing, or providing, those vessels for the construction of such a project;
- facilitated deceptive or structured transactions to provide those vessels for the construction of such a project;
- provided for those vessels underwriting services or insurance or reinsurance necessary or essential for the completion of such a project;
- provided services or facilities for technology upgrades or installation of welding equipment for, or retrofitting or tethering of, those vessels if the services or facilities are necessary or essential for the completion of such a project; or
- provided services for the testing, inspection, or certification necessary or essential for the completion or operation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.