Brussels (Brussels Morning) At least 18 European companies withdrew or have announced plans to withdraw from the Nord Stream 2 project because of threatened US sanctions, according to an unreleased US State Department document, DW reports.
The US Department of State submitted the report on Nord Stream 2 to Congress last week that has so far not been released to the public.
Ned Price, US Department of State spokesman, said that the threat of sanctions had yielded results and added that the intention was to “continue to monitor companies involved in potentially sanctionable acts”.
Thus far, the US has imposed sanctions on Russian KVT-RUS, the company which owns the Fortuna pipe-laying ship, for its participation in the project.
Price warned the administration could take further action and concluded that US allies should “not be surprised” if that happens.
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project was halted at the end of 2019 under US sanctions only to resume in December last year. The 1,200-kilometre Baltic Sea pipeline is almost completed.
The US opposes the project on grounds that it would make Europe overly dependent on Russian energy, a criticism of the project that US President Joe Biden shares with his predecessor. Several European countries, including France, are critical of the Nord Stream 2 as well.
However, the German government continues to support the project despite the criticism and calls to scrap the project in response to Russia’s treatment of opposition politician Alexei Navalny and his supporters.
The report notes that most of the companies that withdrew from the project are insurance companies, largely from the UK.
According to the report, the companies that withdrew from the project include German Bilfinger industrial services provider and Munich Re Syndicate Limited insurance company, Swiss Zurich Insurance Group and its French counterpart Axa.Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba have called on President Biden “to use all means at his disposal to prevent the project from completion,” France24 reported on Monday.