18:33 GMT17 June 2021
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    BRUSSELS, May 20 (Sputnik) - The decision not to sanction the operator of the Russian-led gas project Nord Stream 2 points to the United States' desire to improve relations with the European Union, European Commission spokesman Peter Stano told Sputnik on Thursday.

    The US waiver of sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its senior management was announced on Wednesday. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that it was in the country's national interest to refrain from restrictions.

    "We took note of the fact that the United States decided to give preference to diplomacy in relations with European partners, rather than sanctions, as a response to its concerns about this project", Stano said.

    He added that the waiver of sanctions was in line with US President Joe Biden's declared commitment to restoring relations with Europe.

    Stano stressed that Washington's statements on additional Nord Stream 2 sanctions, made by the Department of State and Blinken, did not mention any European companies.

    "The European Union remains fully committed to the protection of its interests, as well as the interests of European individuals and entities that exercise their rights within legal agreements", the spokesman added.

    The Nord Stream 2 project aims to lay a 745-mile twin offshore pipeline that will carry up to 1.9 trillion cubic feet of gas per year from Russia to Germany through the territorial waters or exclusive economic zones of Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia, and Sweden.

    Tags:
    US sanctions, Nord Stream 2, Russia, US, EU
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