Under pressure from the U.S. government, at least 18 European companies have spun out of the North Stream-2 gas pipeline project, or at least promised to spin off, according to a State Department report sent to the U.S. Congress on Monday.
According to the document, the companies include the industrial services company Bilfinger in Mannheim, the German Munich Re Syndicate, the Swiss Zurich Insurance Group and the French Axa Group.
Washington has so far only been sanctioned by the Russian pipe-laying vessel Fortuna and its owner, KVT-Rust, involved in the construction of Nord Stream-2. This was the first time a company had been punished under the U.S. Sanctions Act against North Stream-2. The decision Donald Trump announced on the penultimate day of office of the outgoing President. So far, the application of this legislation has only served as a threat, resulting in significant delays in the construction of the pipeline.
However, the current report does not threaten additional companies with sanctions, which has provoked criticism from opposition Republican MPs. Ted Cruz a Republican senator accused him over the weekend Joe Biden President’s government to send a signal that he is ready to allow the construction of a gas pipeline with catastrophic consequences for American national security interests and the energy security of the United States ’European allies.
The Antony Blink a document signed by the head of ministry was sent to Congress by the U.S. State Department on Friday, but was only released on Monday. The report highlights the German position that this is a vital economic project.
Berlin strongly opposes American sanctions, which it sees as a violation of the sovereignty of Germany and the European Union
– states in the report.
Nor do the United States, Poland, or Ukraine want the pipeline from Russia to Germany completed. They fear that by building it, Moscow would gain too much influence in Germany. Berlin, on the other hand, claims that the project would provide a direct and secure source of energy.
Featured image: A ship capable of laying a Russian submarine pipeline is anchored near the island of Rügen in northern Germany on May 10, 2020. The ship traveled more than ten thousand kilometers from Russia to the Baltic Sea. Due to US sanctions, the Russian ship will complete the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. MTI / EPA / Jens Köhler
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