In a report to the US Congress, the US State Department proposed to impose sanctions against two participants in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline - the Fortuna vessel and the KBT-Rus company that owns it, reports Bloomberg. Critics of the report noted that the ship and the company are already under sanctions imposed by the administration of the previous US President Donald Trump, the agency writes.
"To put it simply, the sanctions proposed today are completely inadequate," said Republican Rep. Michael McCall, a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee. “Completion of this pipeline would be nothing more than a victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin,” he said.
As noted by Bloomberg, the State Department will not impose sanctions against German and other European companies involved in the construction of the pipeline. This decision reflects the intention of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken "not to challenge" Germany - one of the "key allies" of the United States, the agency writes. According to him, the report also listed organizations that are scaling back their participation in the Russian project and exempted from US sanctions.
The pipeline is more than 90% complete, and Russia's state-owned energy company Gazprom and its western partners hope to complete construction this year. Most of the remaining work is difficult in the deep waters off the coast of Denmark.
According to White House spokesman Jen Psaki, President Joe Biden believes the pipeline is a "bad deal" for Europe. But Biden also wants to renew relations with Europe early in his presidency and is under pressure from Germany, which needs Russian gas as it divested of nuclear and coal power plants.
Germany began negotiations with the United States on the possibility of completing Nord Stream 2 immediately after Joe Biden's election as President of the United States. The subject of the talks was the condition of the American administration on the possibility of stopping gas transit across the Baltic Sea if Russia stops gas transit through Ukraine.