The acting U.S. ambassador to Berlin has called on the German government and the European Union to put a temporary halt to construction work on the pipeline to send a signal to Moscow.
Washington says the pipeline, which has become a flashpoint in relations between Russia and the West that have sunk to post-Cold War lows, compromises European energy security, writes Germany's Handelsblatt daily, Reuters reported.
"This pipeline is not just an economic project, but the Kremlin's political tool to bypass Ukraine and divide Europe," Robin Quinville, acting U.S. Ambassador to Berlin, told Handelsblatt.
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.
Read alsoNord Stream 2 "dead" – international energy expertThe 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.
Norway's risk management and quality assurance firm DNV GL has suspended work on Nord Stream 2 on fears of being sanctioned by the United States.