The US is preparing a “sanctions trick” against the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the German newspaper Bild reported on Saturday, citing sources and a speech given by James Risch, Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, at a security conference in Halifax.
The opponents of the pipeline’s construction plan to get sanctions imposed “in a roundabout way” on the European companies involved in the realization of the project.
Essentially, the sanctions against Gazprom’s European partners would be included in the US Defense Budget for next year.
According to Bild, the sanctions could hit the Swiss company Allseas, which is involved in laying the pipeline and cables, as well as a number of Gazprom’s German partner companies, including the energy company Uniper. The sanctions would be imposed before Christmas.
The authors of the bill have an extremely tight deadline if they hope to proceed in this manner. The construction of Nord Stream 2 could be completed in three months’ time. This is not enough time to develop a full-fledged bill on sanctions against the project’s partner companies.
“When no one is building anymore, there will no longer be anyone to punish,” Bild cites its source in the US senate as saying.
Senator James Risch confirmed that sanctions are being prepared.
“If these sanctions are adopted, the construction companies will cease their operation. I think the Russians will have to look for another way to finish building the gas pipeline, if they can,” said Risch.
Last week it was learned that the Danish Court of Appeal had received a complaint against the Danish Energy Agency’s decision to authorize the proposed route for Nord Stream 2 through Danish waters. However, such cases can take up to one and a half years to consider.
It has also been reported that Gazprom itself cannot say when the construction of Nord Stream 2 will be completed.