Bill expanding sanctions against Nord Stream 2 filed in U.S. House of Representatives – Naftogaz
U.S. House Representatives Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Denny Heck (D-WA), Mike Turner (R-OH), and Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) on June 25 filed a bipartisan House companion bill of the U.S. Senate's Protecting Europe's Energy Security Clarification Act.
"[The document] will impose sanctions that make it impossible to complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline," the press service of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine said on its website on June 26.
"Naftogaz is once again grateful to the U.S. House Representatives, their Senate counterparts, and other friends of Ukraine in the United States who ensured passage of the Protecting Europe's Energy Security Act (PEESA) last year and have now introduced the PEESA Clarification Act in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate," it said.
This new legislation follows last year's successful passage of PEESA in the annual U.S. defense budget bill, which sanctioned the use of deep-sea pipe-laying vessels to build Nord Stream 2.
The PEESA Clarification Act will impose sanctions against: (1) companies that engage in any "pipe-laying activities," which are defined as "activities that facilitate pipe-laying, including site preparation, trenching, surveying, placing rocks, stringing, bending, welding, coating, lowering of pipe, and backfilling"; (2) companies providing "underwriting services or insurance or re-insurance" services for pipe-laying vessels; (3) companies providing "services or facilities for technology upgrades or installation of welding equipment for, or retrofitting or tethering of," pipe-laying vessels; and (4) companies providing "services for the testing, inspection, or certification necessary for or associated with the operation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline."
UNIAN memo. The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction and operation of two gas pipeline branches with a total throughput capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. It should connect Russia's Ust-Lug and Germany's Greifswald. This new pipeline bypassing Ukraine is to be built next to the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline. The construction of the pipeline was expected to be completed before the end of 2019. The pipeline will be 1,220 km long. The project is being implemented by Russia's Gazprom in alliance with European companies – ENGIE, OMV, Shell, Uniper, and Wintershall. Ukraine stands against the construction of Nord Stream 2 as it will most likely lose its status of a gas transit country, while its potential revenue losses are estimated at US$3 billion annually. The project is also highly criticized by the U.S., Poland, and the Baltic States.
Over the sanctions approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, the companies involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline were not able to complete it.
As UNIAN reported, U.S. senators filed a new sanction-imposing bill, the PEESA Clarification Act, in early June. Developed by representatives of the Republican and Democratic Parties, the document should make it impossible to complete the construction of Nord Stream 2 gas.
On June 25, 2020, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on European countries to take own security more seriously, in particular, threats from China and Russia.