After his inauguration, President-elect Joe Biden will take a tougher position toward the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, reports the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagensbladet.
As evidence, journalists cite the fact that during the time when Biden was vice president of the United States, he already opposed the construction of the pipeline. In addition, the United States plans to introduce new expanded sanctions against Nord Stream-2 in the near future. Such sanctions can make it impossible, or at least very difficult to complete the construction of the gas pipeline.
At the same time, it is not yet known what final form the new sanctions will take. They will depend significantly on what instructions will be issued by the State Department, which will then be under Biden's control.
The U.S. Sanctions imposed late last year halted construction of the $10.5 billion pipeline. The sanctions affected the pipe-laying vessels for Nord Stream-2. To date, about 160 kilometers of pipeline on the bottom of the Baltic Sea remain to be laid to complete the project.
The updated Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act (PEESA) expands these restrictive measures and establishes that sanctions will apply to companies providing services, facilities or financing for "modernization or installation of equipment" for ships that will work on the construction of Nord Stream 2.
"We want to make sure that all parties are clear that they can be subject to our sanctions," said U.S. Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Energy Resources Francis Fannon.
On October 7, Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) fined Russian Gazprom $7.6 billion and imposed $61 million in penalties on five companies financing Nord Stream-2 for the construction of the gas pipeline without Poland’s consent.
If the Russian monopoly does not pay a $7.6 billion fine under the UOKiK’s decision, the assets of Russian Gazprom may be seized.