Trump signs off on sanctions against Nord Stream 2 pipeline

World Saturday 21/December/2019 10:57 AM
By: Times News Service
Trump signs off on sanctions against Nord Stream 2 pipeline

US sanctions targeting the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany were signed into law on Friday evening after President Donald Trump signed off on a massive defense bill.

The sanctions target companies that are involved in constructing the $11 billion (€9.93 billion) energy project that will transport Russian gas supplies under the Baltic Sea and deliver them directly to Germany.

Under the sanctions, the Trump administration now has 60 days to identify companies and individuals providing services on the pipeline. The sanctions allow Washington to revoke US visas and block the property of these individuals. Those targeted by the sanctions would then have 30 days to wind down their operations.

Germany, EU decry sanctions

The bill describes Nord Stream 2 as a "tool of coercion and political leverage" that Moscow could use against Berlin — and risks significantly weakening US ties to Germany and other European allies. US lawmakers in both houses of Congress overwhelmingly approved the sanctions.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government already condemned the measures, urging the US not to meddle in European energy policy. The sanctions are also opposed by the European Union.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also already vowed "reciprocal" measures against the sanctions.

Ahead of the sanctions being signed into law, Swiss-Dutch company Allseas suspended its pipe-laying activities. The company was hired by Russia's state-owned energy giant Gazprom to build the offshore section.

The pipeline was expected to become operational in the next few months, although the completion date for the project has now been thrown into doubt.