USA's new sanctions bury Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project

The United States has imposed new sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, which still remains under construction, RIA Novosti reports. The new sanctions affected the pipelaying barge Fortuna, its owner, KBT-Rus, and Rustanker Company. The Maxim Gorky supertanker was also sanctioned.

Earlier on Tuesday, January 19, it was reported that yet another company refused to participate in the project - German company Bilfinger SE. The latter refused to scrap its participation in the project due to the fear of US sanctions.

  • In November last year, Norwegian certification company Det Norske Veritas - Germanischer Lloyd (DNV GL) abandoned the project;
  • Danish engineering company Ramboll pulled out from the project earlier too.

Against the background of the tightening sanctions, Gazprom representatives started talking about the possible failure of Nord Stream 2. The company suggested that the project could be suspended or canceled due to political pressure. Yet, Gazprom still hopes to complete it "as soon as it can be reasonably possible."

The construction of the Nord Stream 2 stopped in December 2019 because of US sanctions. Earlier in January 2021, Denmark allowed the Fortuna barge to complete the construction. However, neither the Fortuna nor the Akademik Chersky pipelayer have started their works yet.

After Washington announced new sanctions, Germany warned the United States about retaliatory measures: the Bundestag did not rule out the implementation of penalties on the import of US gas.

The Kremlin reacted to the introduction of new US sanctions against the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline system. Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Russia was still hoping to finalise the project.

Meanwhile, a fund was created in Germany at the initiative of the German authorities to help the participants of the project  bypass US sanctions. Spokespeople for Nord Stream 2 AG, speaking about the risks of sanctions, noted that it is the EU authorities that should protect the participating companies from USA's sanction.