Brussels (Brussels Morning) The US directed new sanctions at the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany on Monday. Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, noted that the sanctions were not aimed at the company behind Nord Stream 2, but at the shipping company Transadria and its ship Marlin, DW reported.
“Even as the administration continues to oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, including via our sanctions, we continue to work with Germany and other allies and partners to reduce the risks posed by the pipeline”, Blinken stated.
While the Biden administration had come under pressure to direct the sanctions at the main company, it decided against the move, citing the importance of working with Germany.
Concerns over the pipeline
Apart from the US, some EU member states and the Ukraine have warned against Nord Stream 2, concerned that the pipeline will strengthen Russia’s position in the region, and increase Europe’s dependency on Russian gas, thereby representing a risk to its energy security.
Ukraine stands to lose a lot with the start of Nord Stream 2 operation as the country receives royalties from the transport of natural gas from Russia to Germany and other parts of Central Europe. Ukraine has been campaigning against the pipeline, fearing that Nord Stream 2 would cause it to lose significant revenue.
In July, the US and Germany reached an agreement according to which the countries will support Ukraine and impose sanctions on Russia if they conclude that Moscow is weaponising gas deliveries.
Germany pledged to invest in Ukraine’s green energy transition and work towards securing an extension on the gas transit deal between Russia and Ukraine.
Although Nord Stream 2 was completed in September, the German regulator has put approval for its launch on hold, pending the operator’s complies with German law.
The Swiss-based operator now has to transfer “main assets and human resources” to its German subsidiary, with experts predicting that the administrative obstacle could delay the start of operations until mid-2022.