Switzerland’s Allseas Quits Nord Stream 2 after U.S. Sanctions Threat

Swiss-Dutch offshore contractor Allseas has halted its activities related to Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline after the United States said the company could be sanctioned for its participation in the project, TASS reported.

“In anticipation of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Allseas has suspended its Nord Stream 2 pipelay activities,” the company specializing in pipelay, heavy lift and subsea construction said in a short statement on its website on Saturday. “Allseas will proceed, consistent with the legislation’s wind down provision and expect guidance comprising of the necessary regulatory, technical and environmental clarifications from the relevant U.S. authority.”

U.S. President Trump was expected on Friday to sign off on sanctions approved by lawmakers on Tuesday on companies and governments working on Nord Stream 2 as Washington tries to halt the completion of the $10.5 billion pipeline.

The bill calls on the administration to identify companies working on the project within 60 days to trigger the sanctions. That report will likely be completed faster than that, however, meaning the sanctions could be triggered earlier than expected, two U.S. senior officials told Reuters.

Led by state energy company Gazprom, Nord Stream 2 would allow Russia to bypass Ukraine and Poland to deliver gas under the Baltic Sea to Germany.

The Trump administration, like the Obama administration before it, opposes the project on the grounds it would strengthen Russian President Vladimir Putin’s economic and political grip over Europe. Russia has cut deliveries of the fuel to Ukraine and parts of Europe in winter during pricing disputes.