Midstream

Nord Stream 2 has new U.S. limited sanctions; little to stop the project

U.S. nord stream 2 Germany

Nord Stream 2, the project that will send natural gras from Russia to Germany, bypassing Ukraine, has new U.S. sanctions; however, they are so little there is not much they do to actually stop the project, opposers say.

Firstly, as Reuters reports, the U.S. sanctions targeted one Russian vessel and two Russian individuals involved in the project.

Secondly, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the administration has now sanctioned a total of seven persons; and identified 16 of their vessels as blocked property under sanctions law passed by Congress.

Thirdly, separately, President Joe Biden issued an executive order on Friday allowing for sanctions to be imposed; with respect to certain Russian energy export pipelines. However, opposers in Congress say that new sanctions are not enough.

Moreover, Daniel Vajdich, president of Yorktown Solutions, which advises the Ukrainian energy industry on the matter, said, quoted by Reuters. “These sanctions do nothing to halt Nord Stream 2. The only thing that can stop NS2 from becoming operational is lifting the waivers and sanctioning Nord Stream AG; which they refuse to do.”

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Nord Stream 2 could be done by September 3

In addition, as we reported previously, back in July the U.S. government announced an agreement with Germany, after Angela Merkel visited Washington. The deal had the U.S. not opposing to the pipeline’s completion; under the condition that Germany will respond if Russia uses energy as a weapon towards Ukraine.

Furthermore, Biden said to Merkel that. “The pipeline sparked concerns about how the project threatens European energy security; undermines Ukraine security, and the security of our Eastern Flank NATO allies and partners.”

However, Biden directed its team to work with Merkel’s team to see how they both could address those concerns. The agreement came as the pipeline is currently 98% built.

On the other hand, Since May, when senators urged Biden to impose sanctions, he did not follow, and even waived the sanctions. He defended his move by saying. “It’s almost completely finished. To go ahead and impose sanctions now, I think is counter-productive in terms of our European relations.”

Finally, Biden is seeking to repair U.S. relations with Germany, Europe’s biggest economy; as he needs the ally’s help on everything from the economy to relations with China and Iran. According to ClearView Energy Partners, Washington-based nonpartisan research group, the Nord Stream pipeline could be fully built by September 3.

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