The United States has informed the German government that it plans to sanction Russian vessel "Fortuna," which is involved in construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and its owner KVT-RUS, German business daily Handelsblatt reported on Monday.
U.S. government officials informed Berlin and other European allies on Monday that the sanctions would go into effect on Tuesday, the newspaper added, without citing sources, Reuters reported.
Read alsoSwiss insurance firm quits Nord Stream 2 on sanctions anxiety – mediaNord 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.
- According to media reports, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden intends to do his best to prevent the construction of Nord Stream 2.
- On November 4, 2020, the media reported that Congress wants to expand sanctions against Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream.
- On December 4, 2020, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he doubted that the U.S. position on Nord Stream 2 would change after Joe Biden's inauguration.
- 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 NDAA with expanded restrictions against the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
- On January 7, 2021, the Mecklenburg-West Pomerania government approved the creation of the Mecklenburg Climate Protection Fund whose main objective is to help complete the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline by bypassing U.S. sanctions.
- On January 13, it was reported the U.S. State Department this month told European companies which it suspects are helping to build Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that they face the risk of sanctions.