US Expands Nord Stream 2 Sanctions

Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States is building a coalition against the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.

The US sanctions against Nord Stream 2 have extended to firms that provide services or funds to upgrade or install equipment on ships for laying the pipeline, according to updated explanations of the sanctions published on the State Department website on Tuesday.

"Such activities subject to sanctions pursuant to PEESA (the Protecting Europe's Energy Security Act of 2019) or other authorities may include, but are not limited to, providing services or facilities for upgrades or installation of equipment for those vessels, or funding for upgrades or installation of equipment for those vessels," the State Department said in updated guidance on its website.

Earlier, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo said that his country was building a coalition to prevent the Russian-led project from being completed. The official also expressed a desire to see Germany adopt the US position on Nord Stream 2 either because of Navalny or the "real security implications" of dependence on Russian gas.

In turn, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov offered to "calm down" and stop speculating on Nord Stream 2 prospects, saying that it should now be a matter of principle for Germany to complete the project.

The pipeline is said would provide a major cost benefit to the German energy market with natural gas being delivered directly without any intermediaries.

The US, backed by Poland, Baltic nations and Ukraine, has long been seeking to disrupt the pipeline that will carry Russian gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea.

In December 2019, a threat of US sanctions forced Swiss pipelay company Allseas to quit the project with just 100 miles of the pipeline left to lay. Russia is now finishing the pipeline on its own.

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