U.S. working to build coalition to prevent Nord Stream 2 completion / REUTERS

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says his country is working to build a coalition to prevent the completion of Russia's Nord Stream 2 project.

"And then as for Nord Stream 2, we've been unambiguous there as well. The United States believes that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline underwrites Russia, creates risk for Europe by allowing it to become dependent upon gas that's coming out of Russia, and also threatens Ukraine, something I know many German people care deeply about. So we hope that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline won't be completed," he said in an interview via teleconference with Julian Reichelt of BILD-TV on September 21.

Read alsoEuropean Parliament demands halt to Nord Stream 2 project over Navalny's poisoning

"We're working to make sure we build out a coalition that prevents that from happening.  We hope the German Government will come to see it this way, whether it's because of what took place to Mr. [Russian opposition leader Alexei] Navalny or because of the real security implications that come from becoming dependent on Russian gas," he said.

Nord Stream 2: Background

  • 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, Royal Dutch 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.
  • On July 15, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that the participants in the Nord Stream 2 project would fall under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, CAATSA.
  • On July 16, the U.S. recommended that investment companies reconsider their participation in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.
  • On July 23, the U.S. Senate approved the draft National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, which, among other things, contains additional sanctions against the companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2.
  • Ukraine's Foreign Ministry welcomed the United States' readiness to impose sanctions on investment companies involved in the completion of the project.