REUTERS

The United States has made changes to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) by including a Russian-flagged vessel involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

This is reported on the website of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Read alsoLithuania proposes pausing Nord Stream 2 until Russian elections – media

It says it is the FORTUNA (UBDP8) vessel whose registration identification is IMO 8674156 (vessel).

It is linked to Russian-registered KVT-RUS LLC, the owner of the vessel.

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 November 4, 2020, the media reported that U.S. Congress wanted to expand sanctions against Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream.
  • On December 6, 2020, United States Charge d'Affaires to Germany Robin Quinville called on the EU and Germany to declare a moratorium on the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
  • On December 9, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with expanded restrictions against the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
  • On December 11, 2020, the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline resumed.
  • On December 29, 2020, it became known that the House of Representatives overcame the then President Donald Trump's veto on the U.S. defense budget with sanctions on Nord Stream 2.
  • The United States is urging European allies and private companies to halt works on Nord Stream 2, and is preparing broader sanctions against the Russian project in the coming weeks.
  • The U.S. Senate approved the U.S. defense budget for the fiscal year 2021, which provides for new sanctions against Russia's Nord Stream 2.
  • On January 7, 2021, a fund was established in Germany to support the completion of the Nord Stream 2 project.
  • On January 13, 2021, the U.S. Department of State notified European companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 of the risk of imposing new sanctions.