14:43 GMT20 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Andrei Savenkov - On Tuesday, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported, citing US diplomatic sources, that the United States could impose new sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 later in February or in March that would target investors or companies that will receive Russian gas.

    A number of stakeholders in the Nord Stream gas pipeline, namely Austria's OMV and German energy companies Uniper and Wintershall, have said that they plan to fulfill their commitments for the project despite the looming threat of extraterritorial US sanctions.

    "We know that the Americans are determined to prevent Nord Stream 2. However, we do not wish to speculate about possible further action by the Americans, but we are observing the development very closely. We have undertaken to provide financing for up to one-tenth of the project costs and, under the circumstances, we will meet these obligations in accordance with contractual and legal requirements", Christine Bossak, a spokesperson for Uniper, said.

    OMV, in turn, said that the pipeline was crucial for Europe’s energy security.

    "OMV is one of the lenders of the Nord Stream 2 project. We see this as an economic project that is important both for the security of supply and competitiveness in Europe", OMV responded, when asked to react to the reports on US sanctions.

    Markus Zeise, a spokesperson for Wintershall, assured that the company was "closely monitoring the development in the US and cannot comment further."

    The Nord Stream 2 sanctions are outlined in the United States' 2020 defence budget, which was signed by the president in December. The Swiss company Allseas has since stopped laying pipes, but Russia has repeatedly said that pressure from Washington will not prevent it from finishing the pipeline, with or without foreign partners.

    Washington has long opposed the construction project over the supposed harm it would do to Europe's energy security, to which Moscow has reiterated that the pipeline is a purely commercial venture.

    The Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Gazprom and five European companies, including France's ENGIE, the UK-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell as well as OMV, Uniper and Wintershall. The 745-mile-long twin pipeline will carry Russian gas directly to Germany through the territorial waters or exclusive economic zones of Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia and Sweden.

    Tags:
    OMV, Nord Stream 2
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