The construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is about to be completed, and imposing sanctions on the project would be counterproductive for US relations with Europe, US President Joe Biden told reporters outside the White House.
When asked about Washington’s decision not to impose sanctions on the project’s operator Nord Stream 2 AG, the US leader said he opposed the project from the very beginning, but the pipeline was "almost completed" when he took office, TASS reports.
"To go ahead and impose sanctions now would, I think, be counterproductive in terms of our European relations," Biden said.
The Nord Stream 2 project implies the construction of two lines of a gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion 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 Group abandoned pipe-laying due to possible US sanctions. In December 2020, the construction of the gas pipeline resumed after a year's pause. By now, Nord Stream 2 is 95% completed.
On May 21, the United States blacklisted 13 Russian ships involved in the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. Among the blacklisted ships are the vessels Akademik Cherskiy, Artemis Offshore, Bakhtemir, Baltic Explorer, Finval, Kapitan Beklemishev, Murman, Narval, Sivuch, Spasatel Karev, Umka, Vladislav Strizhov, and Yury Topchev.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on May 19 that Washington ditched the idea of imposing sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 operator, Nord Stream 2 AG, and the company’s Chief Executive Officer Matthias Warnig. In his words, this decision corresponds to the national interests of the United States.