U.S. Puts More Pressure on European Contractors for Nord Stream 2 Construction

The U.S. authorities have intensified pressure on European contractors of construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline recently, threating with “far-reaching” consequences if they continue cooperating with the project, the German Die Welt paper wrote on Saturday with reference to sources, TASS reported.

The U.S. authorities have started holding bilateral talks via video conference with representatives of contractor firms of Nord Stream 2 from Germany and other European countries, according to the publication. All in all, 12 officials from three ministries, the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Energy, participated from the U.S. side.

The sources of the newspaper noted that the US representatives “signaled that they want to prevent completion of the gas pipeline construction.” Meanwhile, the sources referred to Washington’s threats as “very serious.”

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress adopted the National Defense Authorization Act for the next fiscal year (starts on October 1), which obliges the administration to toughen sanctions against Russia’s Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipeline projects. It implies imposing restrictions against foreign persons, who greatly contribute to sale, lease or provision of vessels for laying pipes intended for construction of Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipelines.

The Nord Stream 2 project contemplates construction of two gas pipeline strings with the total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters per year from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The gas pipeline is 93% complete to date. The construction was suspended at the end of 2019 when the Swiss pipe-laying company Allseas stopped work due to US sanctions.