The US government threatened new sanctions against companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline on Thursday, urging them to pull out of construction on the German-Russian gas project.
The US State Department “reiterates its warning that any entity involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline risks US sanctions and should immediately abandon work on the pipeline,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement.
He added that the department is tracking efforts to complete the pipeline and “evaluating information regarding entities that appear to be involved” in the project.
Nord Stream 2 is a “bad deal – for Germany, for Ukraine, and for our Central and Eastern European allies and partners,” added Blinken.
“As multiple US administrations have made clear, this pipeline is a Russian geopolitical project intended to divide Europe,” he said.
Blinken pointed to sanctions legislation passed by Congress against Nord Stream 2 and said US President Joe Biden would comply with it.
So far, the US has only imposed sanctions on the Russian company KVT-RUS, which operates the pipe-laying vessel Fortuna. These punitive measures were announced by the administration of US president Donald Trump shortly before the end of its term in January.
US officials argue the pipeline, which is supposed to transport 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Russia to Germany once a year, will make Europe too dependent on Russian energy supplies.
Supporters of the gas pipeline, on the other hand, have long accused the US of undermining the project in order to increase sales of their liquid gas in Europe.