Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has commented on potential US sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 project, calling Washington's actions on the issue "racketeering on the international arena".
"The hostile and un-competitive attitude of the US to this exclusively economic project is well-known, this is not news.We are aware that we're dealing with attempts at unprincipled competition, and sometimes using actions that amount to racketeering or asset-grabbing on the international arena", he noted.
This comes as a top Uniper manager has stated that potential US sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 may stop partners' financial support for the project, however, saying they'll be unable to halt the pipeline.
"We are currently operating under the specific guidance of the OFAC [the US Office of Foreign Assets Control]… The financing of the project [is implemented on the basis of] contracts that had been concluded before any sanctions legislation [took effect] in the US," the executive officer said during a conference call for investors.
The statement follows an announcement made by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairwoman Lisa Murkowski, who told Sputnik that the US Senate was not considering any legislation that would impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. However, the senator added that she has concerns about Russia "utilising its resource wealth as a political leverage".
The comment followed a report in The Wall Street Journal, suggesting that Washington had decided to switch to imposing sanctions on the pipeline project that would allegedly be introduced via amendments to the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a mechanism being used to impose sanctions on Moscow.
The United States has repeatedly expressed its opposition to the project, claiming that it is a means of political control used by Russia to exert pressure on the European Union.
Moscow, for its part, has stressed that Washington's attitude toward the Nord Stream 2 project is explained by the desire to promote US' economic and energy interests in Europe and rejected the idea that the project might be political in nature.
Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russian gas giant Gazprom and five European companies. The pipeline is projected to deliver 55 billion cubic metres (1.9 trillion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas annually to countries in the European Union.