The United States has expanded sanctions against Nord Stream 2 to include Russia’s Fortuna barge, which operates on the pipeline, and its owner, KVT-RUS, in a new ban list.
A month ago, on January 19, this was done by President Donald Trump, now it is being continued by the administration of President Joe Biden. The difference is that the ship and the company were first sanctioned under the CAATSA Act (For Counteracting America’s Opponents through Sanctions), and now under the PEESA Act (For Protecting Europe’s Energy Security).
It is not a question of duplicating the blocking of assets and the entry into the USA of the owners directly providing the ship for laying pipes, but also declares punishable and any work with them, including services such as modernization, installation of new equipment, insurance and certification of activity, financing of similar transactions, etc.
At a briefing later yesterday, a State Department spokesman said Washington believed its strategy for sanctions against Nord Stream 2 was working well. The current, as well as the previous, US administration has spoken out against the pipeline and considers it a geopolitical mistake, Ned Price added. He reiterated the well-known position that the Americans said the facility would give Russia leverage to put pressure on their European partners. The pipeline, which runs through the Baltic Sea, is currently about 150 km off the coast of Germany.
This is a bad deal, bad for Europe and contrary to Europe’s own energy goals, Price said. According to him, the United States continues to cooperate with Germany and other EU countries on this issue. “We will continue to monitor for activities that could lead to additional US sanctions, including sanctions. But it would be wrong to think of sanctions as the only tool in our arsenal,” the spokesman said.
On February 12, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called on Germany to pay reparations to his country after President and former Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier gave the impression that Nord Stream 2 was part of a historic World War II debt to Russia. DPA agency.
Morawiecki said he was pleased that Steinmeier had acknowledged that the effects of the war could affect today’s political and economic decisions. “Poland has never received reparations despite the terrible devastation caused by Nazi Germany. Thousands of towns and villages have been razed to the ground, including the capital Warsaw,” he wrote on his Facebook account.
According to him, however, the construction of Nord Stream 2 is not a compensation, but a blow to European solidarity. “The construction of bridges between Europe and Russia cannot take place through the heads of Central and Eastern Europe,” the prime minister wrote.
At the same time, the Interfax news agency reported that due to the cold weather in Central Europe, Gazprom’s exports to Germany through Ukraine will increase to over 124 million cubic meters per day in March instead of the planned 110 million cubic meters. The volume is the same as in February (although less than the same time in 2020), and the reason is the reduction to 34% of gas reserves of the countries in the region due to low temperatures and increased heating. The situation is not unusual – in February 2018 stocks were reduced to 14%, recalls the DPA.
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