Trump Administration Increases Threat to European Companies in Nord Stream 2
July 26, 2020 (EIRNS)—Germany’s Welt am Sonntag has reported that officials from the U.S. Department of State, the Treasury Department, and the Department of Energy have approached European contractors with threats of serious consequences if the don’t obey U.S. dictates to drop out of the nearly completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which will double the delivery of Russian gas to Europe. Both RT and TASS report on the article, which says up to a dozen officials held at least two online conferences with representatives of the firms in recent days.
“I believe the threat is very, very serious,” one of sources told the Sunday edition of Die Welt.
Secretary Mike Pompeo last week in his visit to Europe said the companies must “get out now” or face penalties under Section 232 of the imperial, and illegal, Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
The companies involved in the 90% completed project include Gazprom, which is developing the project, and France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV, the Anglo-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell, and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall. A Uniper spokesman told Welt am Sonntag that the threats to undermine the project were a clear intervention into European countries’ sovereignty.
The U.S. House of Representatives on July 20 approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act which would expand U.S. sanctions on companies involved in installing Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. According to one of the sponsors of the bill, the measures can target companies facilitating or providing vessels, insurance, port facilities, or tethering services for those vessels, as well as to those providing certification for Nord Stream 2. In December, the U.S. sanctions on just the companies laying the pipeline temporarily halted the project, but Gazprom is now finishing the job on its own.