in ,

Two U.S. senators determined to stop Nord Stream 2 by imposing extra sanctions

Will Russia be able to circumvent additional barriers to completing the project?

Submitted by InfoBrics, authored by Paul Antonopoulos, independent geopolitical analyst…

The Nord Stream 2 project involves the construction of two gas pipelines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. The gas pipeline will run through the territorial waters or exclusive economic zones of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. However, this gas pipeline is strengthening Russia’s relations with European states, making the U.S. desperate to end the project.

As reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday, U.S. senators are planning to extend sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 project. Sanctions are expected to target insurance companies associated with the project.

Senator Ted Cruz led the charge against Moscow and said the Russian pipeline is “a critical threat to America’s national security and must not be completed.” He added that Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to circumvent the sanctions passed by Congress last year. He of course did not explain how a Russian pipeline a continent away from the U.S. and in northern Europe could impact their security.

Cruz, a Republican, was joined by Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat, who said that the pipeline “threatens Ukraine, Europe’s energy independence and gives Russia an opening to exploit our allies” and that “Congress must once again take decisive action and stand in this pipeline’s path.” He, just like Cruz, did not explain exactly how the pipeline is a threat or security concern, especially against Ukraine.

The pipeline does not threaten Europe’s energy independence, and rather, as is enshrined in a free market economy that the U.S. says it ardently defends, allows Europe to have another option for gas. Although Russian gas already reaches Europe, it goes via Ukraine that is volatile and a high risk for Russia. The Director General of the Ukrainian gas transportation system Sergei Makogon said earlier this year that Ukraine “will make every effort to prevent the completion of Nord Stream 2, as this project has a clear political character and runs counter to European principles of solidarity.”

With Russian gas to Europe at risk, the Nord Stream 2 project ensures Russia’s gas can reach European markets so it can compete with gas from Qatar, the U.S. and other sources. And it is with this that lays the problem for Washington. It is obviously absurd to suggest that Russian gas “threatens Ukraine” or is a “critical threat to America’s national security.” The proposed sanctions, that also has backing from Republican Senators John Barrasso of Wyoming and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, is just part of “gas wars” initiated by the U.S. to force countries to buy American liquefied natural gas.

It is for this reason that Russian Ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said on that the U.S.  will not be able to stop the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Last week, former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, who resigned on June 2, said that new sanctions against Nord Stream 2 could be adopted by the U.S. Congress in an operational mode. Their purpose is to prevent commissioning of the gas pipeline.

At that time, media also swept on the news that an alleged dispute broke out between U.S. President Donald Trump and long-time German Chancellor Angela Merkel because of differences of opinion on the Nord Stream 2 project. However, neither Berlin nor Washington officially confirmed this rumour. Also, at the end of last year, the U.S. adopted a defense budget providing for sanctions on companies involved in laying the gas pipeline. As a result, the Swiss company Allseas stopped work and withdrew its ships. The head of the Ministry of Energy Alexander Nowak said after that Russia is able to complete the project itself however.

The Nord Stream 2 subsidiary, Gazprom Nord Stream 2, is building the gas pipeline. The annual meeting of Gazprom’s board of directors is scheduled for June 11 and it is expected the main topic of talks to be about the impact of Western sanctions on Gazprom and response measures. This is more crucial as now Poland has joined the U.S. in anti-Nord Stream 2 sanctions.

The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection initiated a new proceeding against Gazprom regarding the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, threatening the Russian company with a fine of €50 million. The Polish office demanded that Gazprom provide documents regarding the project, namely contracts concluded between Gazprom’s subsidiary and other companies financing the construction of the gas pipeline. These were primarily contracts for the transmission, distribution, sale, supply and storage of gas fuels. Gazprom did not provide this information, and now Poland aims to fine the company.

Despite these pressures, in which Poland has a very minor part, Russia will unlikely be deterred by threats of sanctions. Russia has already learned long ago how to operate while under sanction and will continue to pursue projects that serve their state interests and integrate Russia closer to Europe. This is especially important as the European countries are more interested in convenient gas that is not only logistically easier, but cheaper than many other alternatives.

5 5 votes
Article Rating
Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!

Report

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

What do you think?

13 points
Upvote Downvote
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
15 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Olivia Kroth
June 5, 2020

These sanctions will not work. Nord Stream 2 will be finished. Russia wants it, Germany wants it, and so it will be done.

BobValdez
BobValdez
June 5, 2020

I can’t understand what part of f*** off the seppo shithole doesn’t get? If Europe wants gas and can get it cheaper and easier from Russia, and Europe is on the OTHER SIDE of the planet to seppo-stan, how does the so-called us sanctions affect anyone outside of the seppo territory? Just tell them to fuck off already.
 

Last edited 29 days ago by BobValdez
Black Picard
Reply to  BobValdez
June 5, 2020

While I have been exploring Africa over the past decade or so, I have routinely told (warned) black African businesspeople to “LOOK EAST – the West is dead and has no money.”
 
It is this stupid sanctions bullshit that will drive foreign businesses from “partnering” or conducting trade with American & Western European vassal entities. Good fcuking riddance!!

America's Animal Farm
America's Animal Farm
June 5, 2020

Since this is bipartisan arrogance, it will serve to irreparably sour relations with Germany and beyond no matter which party sits in the WH.

History on Masquerade
History on Masquerade
Reply to  America's Animal Farm
June 6, 2020

Germany tells Ukraine’s neo-nazis to screw off while America runs interference for them. I hear about 50,000 Americans from WWII turning in their graves right about now.
 
Meanwhile, Poland embraces the sons and daughters of the very same Ukrainian neo-nazis that butchered a hundred thousand Poles with impunity. That’s even more embarrassing for the human race.
 
Maybe Poles and Americans truly deserve each other.

America's Path to Armageddon
America's Path to Armageddon
June 5, 2020

To the Ted Cruzes of the world, anything that earns Russia another euro is a ‘threat to America’s national security’.

America's Path to Armageddon
America's Path to Armageddon
June 5, 2020

Quote: ‘The Polish office demanded that Gazprom provide documents regarding the project, namely contracts concluded between Gazprom’s subsidiary and other companies financing the construction of the gas pipeline.’
 
The Polish toady seeks to provide the US with targets for their new sanctions.
 
Make no mistake, this is as close to war as nations can get before the missiles start flying.

Joe the Polish Plumber
Joe the Polish Plumber
Reply to  America's Path to Armageddon
June 5, 2020

Poland, America’s enthusiastic new sacrificial lamb. No wonder Polish jokes are so enduring.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Joe the Polish Plumber
June 6, 2020

Where are you plumbing, Polish plumber? You will find a lot of work in the USA, since the infrastructure has been severely damaged through burning, looting, rioting. Good Polish plumbers are very much needed there now.

Joe the Polish Plumber
Joe the Polish Plumber
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
June 6, 2020

I was going to go to Iraq to work on Jim Biden’s $1.5B dollar housing boondoggle but the American contract plumbers there only install toilets that flush uphill or into the kitchen faucets on those projects. Sort of goes with the electrified showers. Even we Poles have our limits on daftness.

Olivia Kroth
June 5, 2020

Germany rejects US extraterritorial sanctions against Nordstream 2
 
TASS
 
https://tass.com/economy/1164469

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
June 5, 2020

BERLIN, June 5. /TASS/. The German government rejects extraterritorial sanctions by the United States as Berlin’s position on Nord Stream 2 has not changed, a representative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy told a briefing on Friday.     The official was commenting on the bill a group of US senators submitted to the Senate. The document implies expansion of sanctions against the gas pipeline.   “Our principled position regarding extraterritorial sanctions is clear: we reject them,” the representative of the ministry added.   The new sanctions target the insurance companies that work with the two Russian… Read more »

American Graffiti
American Graffiti
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
June 6, 2020

America’s already a pariah in German eyes (except for the stooges). How much worse could it get?

anatman
June 6, 2020

I’m happy Ted Cruz left Canada. I hope he doesn’t come back. Ever.

American Graffiti
American Graffiti
Reply to  anatman
June 6, 2020

But don’t even think of sending that nazi progeny of yours, Freeland down here. Even we have our limits. (well, not really but don’t do it anyway).

Has Sweden’s COVID-19 Strategy Backfired?

US wants to resume nuclear tests