The U.S. administration intends to continue imposing sanctions against Nord Stream 2. Such actions should demonstrate that the United States continues to oppose this project, said the U.S. Department of State spokesman, Ned Price.
"We will continue to impose restrictive measures against individuals and companies whose activities are subject to such sanctions. In this way we will demonstrate that we oppose this gas pipeline," he said at the briefing.
At the same time, according to Price, the U.S. will negotiate with partners how " to prevent Russia from using energy as leverage" in Europe.
Earlier, the U.S. administration said that Washington's decision not to impose sanctions against the operator of the pipeline, Nord Stream 2 AG, is of "practical importance."
The completion of the 10-billion-euro project, of which 5 billion was invested by Gazprom, and the remainder by five European energy companies, is expected before the end of the year, said the Energy Minister, Alexander Novak.
Two pipes with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year, laid on the bottom of the Baltic Sea from the coast of Russia to Germany, were the third attempt of the Kremlin to bypass Ukraine in delivering gas to Europe.
The first, South Stream was blocked by Bulgaria, the second, TurkStream, was partially blocked by Turkey, which agreed to use only one line of Turkish Stream instead of the three that Gazprom had hoped for.
The fact that the U.S. decided not to impose sanctions against the operator of the Nord Stream 2, Nord Stream 2 AG, will increase the chances of its completion this year, but will not prevent further disputes about the operation of the pipeline, warns Konstantin Simonov, director of the Russian National Energy Security Fund.
In 2019, the European Commission adopted amendments to the gas directive, which prohibit one company to be both the owner of the gas pipeline and the gas supplier.
This means that Gazprom is required to provide access to Nord Stream-2 to independent gas suppliers, and it can use only half of the capacity, 27.5 billion cubic meters per year.