UPDATE: Report: US may slap new sanctions on Nord Stream-2
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BERLIN, Feb 4 (PRIME) -- The U.S. Congress may approve new sanctions against Russia’s Nord Stream-2 natural gas pipeline targeting investors and the companies that receive gas through the pipeline, German business newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Tuesday quoting Washington’s diplomatic sources.
In case of necessity, Washington may approve the sanctions in February or March. The Congress is ready to pass them, if Russia continues laying of the remaining part of the pipeline on its own, Handelsblatt reported.
A representative of Germany’s Uniper, one of the companies that financed the project, told the newspaper that it was aware of the firm U.S. decision to block construction of the pipeline, but declined to comment on the possible new sanctions.
Bernd Westphal, a representative of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, told Handelsblatt that the German parliament was doing everything necessary for the project to complete. “Germany and the E.U. would not allow Washington to dictate how they should conduct their energy policy,” he said, adding that the Nord Stream-2 pipeline stopped being a threat to gas transit through Ukraine after Russia and Ukraine coordinated prolongation of transit.
The Nord Stream-2 project envisages construction of two lines of a natural gas pipeline with an annual capacity of up to 55 billion cubic meters, running from the Russian shore to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Russian gas giant Gazprom builds the pipeline together with Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall DEA, Royal Dutch Shell, Austria’s OMV, and France’s Engie.
On December 21, the builder of the Nord Stream-2 suspended operations due to the threat of U.S. sanctions and withdrew all its vessels engaged in laying the pipeline from the Baltic Sea after U.S. President Donald Trump signed a defense budget envisaging spending on counteraction against Russia in various areas including sanctions against the Nord Stream-2.