Fourteen US Republican senators presented their bill on Thursday which, if adopted, will introduce sanctions against the operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project (Nord Stream 2 AG) and its Managing Director Matthias Warnig, Kevin Cramer (Republican, North Dakota), one of the bill’s authors, said in a written statement.
The act dubbed Protecting Our Well-being by Expanding Russian Sanctions (POWERS) will mandate that the US administration impose restrictions against "subcontractors of any entity which works on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline." Cramer believes that the decision made by US President Joe Biden to abandon its policy of imposing restrictions against the pipeline runs "the risk of weakening America’s global standing." The senator called on other lawmakers to back the initiative "before the Administration makes the United States learn the hard way why energy security means national security."
US administration representatives will hold a special briefing for the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on May 24 to bring senators up to date on the sanctions against Nord Stream 2, Reuters reported earlier, TASS reports.
On Wednesday evening, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that Washington would waive sanctions against the gas pipeline operator and its head. According to the top diplomat, this decision meets national interests of the country. At the same time, restrictions will still be imposed against four vessels, five organizations and one person involved in the project construction.
Nord Stream 2
Washington has been openly opposing the Nord Stream 2 construction and has been vigorously attempting to put roadblocks on the path to its completion. Moreover, many experts point out that the US is pursuing its own economic interests as it seeks to supply its LNG to Europe which is much more expensive than Russia’s pipeline option. In the past few years, the US created a legal foundation to impose unilateral restrictions particularly against companies taking part in the Nord Stream 2 project.
The Nord Stream 2 project involves the construction of two lines of a gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. The work was suspended in December 2019 after the Swiss Allseas abandoned pipe-laying due to possible US sanctions. But starting in December 2020, the construction of the gas pipeline resumed after a year-long pause. In December 2020, Fortuna built 2.6 km of the pipeline in the exclusive economic zone of Germany and is now laying Nord Stream 2 in the Danish territorial waters. According to the company, the project is 95% completed.