The energetyka24.com website said the US State Department on Tuesday issued guidance under which any companies “providing services or facilities for upgrades or installation of equipment” for vessels participating in the construction of Nord Stream 2 and companies funding those upgrades and installations will be subject to sanctions.
“We continue to call on Russia to cease using its energy resources for coercive purposes,” the US State Department said in its guidance.
It added: “Russia uses its energy export pipelines to create national and regional dependencies on Russian energy supplies, leveraging these dependencies to expand its political, economic, and military influence, weaken European security, and undermine U.S. national security and foreign policy interests. These pipelines also reduce European energy diversification, and hence weaken European energy security.”
The US sanctions come under a measure signed into law by President Donald Trump in December and known as the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act (PEESA).
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a media interview last month that the United States was working to build a coalition of countries to stop the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from being completed in Europe.
Speaking out on the pipeline last year, US President Donald Trump said: “We’re protecting Germany from Russia and Russia is getting billions and billions of dollars from Germany.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was quoted as saying last month that the Russia-Germany Nord Stream 2 pipeline was a "highly political project."
Poland’s minister for European affairs, Konrad Szymański, warned in an opinion piece in September that Nord Stream 2, if completed, would make Europe dependent on Russia.
Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said last month he was optimistic about the chances of halting the construction of the controversial pipeline.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in August that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline allows Russia to buy weapons with European money.
Morawiecki has previously called Nord Stream 2 “a new hybrid weapon” aimed at the European Union and NATO.
The gas link is close to completion and is due to start operating next year.
The 1,200-kilometre undersea Nord Stream 2 pipeline is designed to have the capacity to send around 55 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas a year directly to Germany, while bypassing the Baltic states, Poland and Ukraine.
Warsaw has vehemently opposed the project, saying it would pose a threat to Europe’s energy security by doubling Russia’s gas export capacity via the Baltic Sea.
Source: energetyka24.com, state.gov