Outgoing US President Donald Trump has delivered his “parting gift” to the Moscow-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, with newly announced sanctions targeting a pipe-laying vessel and companies involved in the multinational project.
Pipe-laying vessel Fortuna and oil tanker Maksim Gorky, as well as two Russian firms, KVT-Rus and Rustanker, were blacklisted on Tuesday under CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) as part of the US’ sanction war.
The same legislation had been previously used by Washington to target numerous Russian officials and enterprises.
Russian energy giant Gazprom has warned that Nord Stream 2 could be suspended or even canceled if there is a change in the political situation. The statement follows the imposition of new sanctions on the project by Washington.
Despite agreement from the Russian and German governments that the project must be completed, the company fears that it could eventually be derailed. As a partially public company, it is required to let its investors know about future risks.
Klaus Ernst, the chairman of the German parliament’s Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy said that penalties against corporations engaged in the Russian-led gas-provision project are unacceptable.
Berlin should introduce punitive tariffs on imports of US liquefied natural gas (LNG) since Washington is pursuing its own ends by imposing sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
The call comes shortly after the White House announced restrictions against Russian-flagged pipe laying vessel Fortuna over its involvement in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany and Central Europe.
The move came a day before Joe Biden’s inauguration. The President-elect has previously opposed the project, but it remains unclear whether he’ll follow President Donald Trump’s hard line on the issue.
Nord Stream 2 is an offshore gas pipeline designed to link Russia and Germany, in order to provide Central Europe with a cheaper source of energy. Due to be launched in mid-2020, construction has been held back repeatedly by Washington’s sanctions.
According to the US, Nord Stream 2 would “undermine Europe’s overall energy security and stability.” However, some have accused the Americans of opposing the pipeline for economic reasons, as the country looks to increase its exports of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) to the continent. To date, 94% of the pipeline has been finished.
According to reports, the sanctions are not directly aimed at any particular German companies but will punish those that do business with ‘Fortuna’ and its owner, KVT-RUS. For example, this could include a port providing services or an insurer.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point Oil & Gas News 2021.