U.S. to sanction company behind Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream 2

0
14

Feb. 23 (UPI) — The United States will impose sanctions on the company behind the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in response to Russia’s escalating aggression in Ukraine, President Joe Biden announced Wednesday.

The pipeline, intended to ferry natural gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, was completed in September but awaits final certification from German regulators. It’s owned by Swiss firm Nord Stream 2 AG, whose parent company is the massive Russian energy corporation Gazprom.

Advertisement

Biden’s announcement was the latest in a series of economic penalties levied at Russia by the United States and its allies as Russian President Vladmir Putin continues to mobilize troops in eastern Ukraine.

“These steps are another piece of our initial tranche of sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. As I have made clear, we will not hesitate to take further steps if Russia continues to escalate,” Biden said in a media release.

“Through his actions, President Putin has provided the world with an overwhelming incentive to move away from Russian gas and to other forms of energy.”

The move came one day after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his nation would halt the approval process of the pipeline, which cost more than $11 billion to complete.

Advertisement

In a press conference, Scholz added it was time to “reassess the situation” in light of Russia’s aggression.

“Nord Stream 2 cannot go into operation without this certification,” Scholz said.

In an interview with CNN Wednesday, Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš said Germany’s decision to rescind the pipeline’s national security waiver functionally kills the project.

“What we’re seeing now is the first wave of sanctions. So Putin moves military units into Ukraine, the democratic world responds immediately, within one day, and across all the time zones, with coordinated and very deep sanctions,” Kariņš said.

“If there would be more moves, there would be more sanctions, and they will only be cutting deeper and deeper.”