US to Sanction Companies Involved in Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Construction?
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
If completed as planned, Nord Stream 2 will be the world’s longest underwater pipeline, a major engineering achievement.
It’ll be able to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas from beneath the Baltic Sea, its capacity to be doubled by an additional line, the project scheduled for completion by late 2019.
According to the Nord Stream 2 web site, it’ll “transport natural gas into the European Union to enhance security of supply, support climate goals and strengthen the internal energy market.”
Russia’s huge natural gas reserves and proximity to other European countries makes it “a natural partner for a new transportation route…”
Brussels and Berlin oppose congressional and Trump administration efforts to undermine the project.
A European Commission statement said Washington’s agenda is “driven primarily by domestic considerations,” adding:
“As we have said repeatedly, it is important that any possible new measures are coordinated between international partners to maintain unity among partners on the sanctions.”
“We are concerned (that possible US) measures could have unintended consequences, not only when it comes to Transatlantic/G7 unity, but also on EU economic and energy security interests.”
Russia is targeted for its Putin-led sovereign independence, phony accusations used, including nonexistent Kremlin “aggression” in Ukraine and Syria, its nonexistent “annexation” of Crimea, and most recently the Skripal incident it had nothing to do with.
Five European companies are involved in Nord Stream 2 construction – including France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, along with Royal Dutch Shell.
Brussels, including economic powerhouse Germany strongly support the project.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert lied, saying “(w)e believe that the Nord Stream 2 project would undermine Europe’s overall energy security and stability,” adding:
“It would provide Russia another tool to pressure European countries, especially countries such as Ukraine.”
Fact: Its objective is polar opposite.
Fact: Its completion will enhance European energy security.
Fact: Washington aims to replace Russia as Europe’s main energy supplier, despite an ocean separating the continents, along with wanting its economy weakened.
Nauert threatened possible US sanctions on companies involved in Nord Stream 2 construction, saying:
“(W)e have spent a lot of time speaking with our partners and allies overseas to explain to them the ramifications of CAATSA (the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act).”
“And how an individual or a company or a country can run afoul against CAATSA and fall into sanctions.”
“We don’t tend to comment on sanctions actions, but we’ve been clear that firm steps against the Russian energy export pipeline sector could – if they engage in that kind of business – expose themselves to sanctions under CAATSA.”
German Vice Chancellor/former Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel denounced CAATSA, calling it hostile to Berlin’s interests, adding it “aggressively bind(s) US economic interests with issues of external policy.”
Germany rejects US attempts to “push Russian gas from the European market” to sell its own.
EU nations often talk tough, then yield to US dominance, harming their own interests.
Will they hold firm on supporting Nord Stream 2 or bend to Washington’s will? Their past record isn’t encouraging.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”