The United States will continue to impose sanctions against the Russian companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 project, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, designed to transport natural gas from Russia to Germany bypassing Ukraine, is currently 95% complete. The US has long voiced opposition to the project, viewing it as a threat to European energy independence.
Washington has slapped a series of sanctions on companies and businessmen involved in the project. Russia has repeatedly insisted that Nord Stream 2 is a purely economic venture that should not be politicised.
Sanctions Over Navalny Case
In addition, the Biden aide said that Washington is also preparing another package of sanctions related to the Alexei Navalny case.
The statement comes as congressional Democrats criticised the Biden administration for failing to meet the deadline to impose the second round of sanctions. The US hit several top Russian officials with sanctions in March, accusing them of complicity in Navalny's alleged poisoning with a nerve agent – a claim Russia has repeatedly denied, pointing to a lack of evidence.
The blogger is currently serving time in a Russian prison over probation breaches in an embezzlement case. He was arrested after he returned to Russia from Germany in January, where he had undergone treatment for the alleged poisoning.
Asked about the outcome of the Geneva summit on 16 June, Sullivan said it was too early to be optimistic or confident about stable and predictable US-Russia relations, noting that Biden takes nothing as a given and Washington wants actions, rather than words, from Moscow to see if there is room for improvement in the bilateral ties.
President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden held a landmark summit in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday, where they discussed cybersecurity, arms control, regional conflicts, and other issues. Both presidents described the meeting as productive.