Nord Stream 2 construction resumes despite new US sanctions | DW News
US President Believes New Russian Gas Pipeline Will Be; A Bad Deal for Europe
President Joe Biden believes the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is “a bad deal for Europe,” and the new administration is set to revise the sanctions and restrictions approved by the previous Donald Trump administration to counter the Kremlin’s ambitious project to pump Russian gas to Germany. This was announced on Tuesday at the White House.
The restrictions related to Nord Stream 2 were included by lawmakers in the annual defense budget bill passed on January 1. According to the new law, all companies that help Russian Gazprom with laying a pipeline, insuring ships or inspecting equipment may be subject to sanctions..
The Trump administration, like the Obama administration that preceded it, opposed the project, fearing an increase in the economic and political influence of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Europe. Russia has cut fuel supplies to Ukraine and a number of European countries during a recent price dispute.
Another reason Biden opposes the construction of Nord Stream 2 is that gas will be supplied to Europe bypassing Ukraine, depriving the country of lucrative transit fees. Russia and Germany claim the pipeline is a purely commercial project.
“We continue to believe the president still believes that Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal for Europe,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Tuesday, adding that the administration will “review” restrictive measures. included in the defense budget bill for 2021.
The $ 11 billion pipeline, 90% complete, is set to double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream gas pipeline to deliver gas from Russia to Europe via Germany on the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
The problem is starting to escalate as Russia resumed construction of the pipeline, which had to be suspended for about a year due to the threat of US sanctions and the withdrawal of pipe-laying company Allseas from the project..
On Sunday, Nord Stream 2 officials said a vessel called Fortuna had begun operations in deep waters off the coast of Denmark ahead of the resumption of pipeline construction. US sanctions against Fortuna were imposed on January 19, the last full-time work of ex-President Donald Trump..
The State Department is expected to present a report to Congress soon on the companies helping Gazprom complete the project. US pressure could force the remaining participants to withdraw from the project, as several firms have already done, including the Zurich Insurance Group and the Norwegian risk management firm DNV GL..