US warns of sanc­tions for Nord Stream work

Shanghai Daily - - FRONT PAGE - EN­ERGY

THE US am­bas­sador to Ger­many has warned com­pa­nies in­volved in the con­struc­tion of the Rus­sian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipe­line that they could face sanc­tions if they stick to the project, a se­nior US of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has ac­cused Ger­many of be­ing a “cap­tive” of Moscow due to its re­liance on Rus­sian en­ergy and urged it to halt work on the US$11 bil­lion gas pipe­line.

The pipe­line, which would carry gas straight to Ger­many un­der the Baltic Sea, is driv­ing a wedge be­tween Ger­many and its al­lies as it would deprive Ukraine of the lu­cra­tive gas tran­sit fees it cur­rently en­joys.

US Am­bas­sador Richard Grenell ad­dressed the is­sue in a let­ter sent to sev­eral com­pa­nies, the US Em­bassy said.

“The let­ter re­minds that any com­pany op­er­at­ing in the Rus­sian en­ergy ex­port pipe­line sec­tor is in dan­ger un­der CAATSA of US sanc­tions,” the spokesman said, adding that other Euro­pean states also op­posed the planned pipe­line.

Ger­many and other Euro­pean al­lies ac­cuse Wash­ing­ton of us­ing its Coun­ter­ing Amer­ica’s Ad­ver­saries Through Sanc­tions Act to med­dle in other coun­ties’ for­eign and en­ergy poli­cies due to its ex­trater­ri­to­rial ef­fect.

There was no im­me­di­ate re­ac­tion to Grenell’s re­marks from the Ger­man gov­ern­ment and firms par­tic­i­pat­ing in Nord Stream 2.

Ger­many and Rus­sia have been at odds since Moscow an­nexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. But they have a com­mon in­ter­est in the Nord Stream 2 project, which is ex­pected to dou­ble the ca­pac­ity of the ex­ist­ing Nord Stream 1 route.

Ger­man news­pa­per Bild am Son­ntag, first to re­port on the let­ter, said Grenell was try­ing to black­mail Ger­man com­pa­nies.


Swiss off­shore ser­vice provider Allseas’ “Au­da­cia” lays pipes for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipe­line in this file photo. The US warned for­eign firms of pos­si­ble sanc­tions over the Rus­sian­backed pipe­line, which Ber­lin is also sup­port­ing. — AFP

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