U.S. Senate approves sanctions targeting Nord Stream 2

Sanctions are imposed against companies involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream pipelines. REUTERS

REUTERS

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday, December 17, approved the National Defense Authorization Act, which, among other items, contains provisions on sanctions targeting the construction of Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream gas pipelines, both bypassing Ukraine.

The NDAA passed the Senate with 86 votes in support and 8 votes opposed, Europeiska Pravda reports. Sanctions shall be imposed on companies involved in the construction of the said pipes.

They will also apply if companies change their names or are replaced by others. Besides, sanctions cover vessels laying pipes 100 feet below sea level and foreigners who knowingly sold, leased or provided such vessels for the project.

Among the restrictions laid down is the ban on issuing American visas, as well as cancelation of existing visas for employees or co-owners of companies targeted by sanctions.

Sanctions include asset freeze in relation to such persons in the United States. Within 60 days from the date of entry into force, the Secretary of State and the Treasury Department shall submit to the U.S. Congress committees a report with certain organizations and individuals who are subject to sanctions.

In turn, companies involved in laying pipes will have 30 days to halt their operations. UNIAN memo.

The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction and operation of two gas pipeline branches with a total throughput capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany.

It should connect Russia’s Ust-Lug and Germany’s Greifswald. This new pipeline bypassing Ukraine is to be built next to the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline. The construction of the pipeline should be completed before the end of 2019. The pipeline will be 1,220 km long.

The project is being implemented by Russia’s Gazprom in alliance with European companies – ENGIE, OMV, Shell, Uniper, and Wintershall. Ukraine stands against the construction of Nord Stream 2 as it will most likely lose its status of a gas transit country, while its potential revenue losses are estimated at US$3 billion annually.

The project is also highly criticized by the U.S., Poland, and the Baltic States.

(C)UNIAN 2019

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