In Defiance Of U.S. Sanctions, Construction on German Section Of Nord Stream 2 To Resume In December

November 29, 2020 02:17 GMT – By RFE/RL

Construction on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany will resume in early December after a one-year pause due to U.S. sanctions.

The company Nord Stream 2 AG said November 28 undersea pipe-laying work will resume on a 2.6-kilometer section of each of the gas pipeline’s branches within Germany’s exclusive economic zone.

German broadcaster NDR 1 Radio MV reported construction will resume on December 5, citing an announcement by the Baltic Sea Waterways and Shipping Office in Stralsund.

In December 2019, construction on Nord Stream 2 was suspended following U.S. sanctions on the project, which will double Russian natural gas deliveries to Germany.

The sanctions targeted any vessel building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, forcing Switzerland-based pipe-laying company Allseas to suspend operations shortly before its completion.

The U.S. Congress is considering another bill that would widen the scope of sanctions to include any individual or entity providing insurance, technical certification, or welding services for the project.

It is unclear what pipe-laying ship will be involved in finishing Nord Stream 2, which still has 16 kilometers left in German waters and another 60 kilometers in the Danish section to be completed.

Pipe-laying vessel Akademik Cherskiy was expected to finish the gas pipeline, but according Marine Traffic tracking services the Russian-flagged ship left the German project hub of Mukran and is off the coast of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

According to NDR 1 Radio MV, it is unclear if the vessel has received required certification from the Danish government. The Norwegian certifier already announced a partial withdrawal from the project related to any ships, but not the pipeline itself.

Meanwhile, the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, where the pipeline ends, reportedly decided this week to create a public trust under the control of the state premier’s office to protect companies working on Nord Stream 2 from U.S. sanctions.

Citing insiders, NDR 1 Radio MV said top officials consider the special vehicle a “clever legal gimmick” to skirt around U.S. sanctions.

Sanctions against Nord Stream 2 have been a source of friction in U.S.-German relations, with Berlin accusing Washington of applying extraterritorial restrictions on a sovereign project.

The U.S. government wants to prevent the pipeline from being completed, saying it will strengthen Russia’s energy hold on Europe and undercut Ukraine’s role as a transit country for Russian gas.

Nord Stream 2 is a $10 billion project led by Russian gas giant Gazprom, with half of the funding provided by Germany’s Uniper and BASF’s Wintershall, Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell, Austria’s OMV and Engie.

Russia initially expected to complete the pipeline in early 2020. After the sanctions on vessels were passed, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hoped the pipeline would be completed by early 2021.

4 comments

  • “…Berlin (is) accusing Washington of applying extraterritorial restrictions on a sovereign project…”

    What the heck is a sovereign project? Aren’t all projects sovereign? I wonder if they really believe international sales of natural gas is sovereign? It’s a market and it is another way to hurt Ukraine and increase the likelihood of further Russian advancement into Ukraine….
    Sometimes people only see money and I think most of them would dive into a crocodile to grab for a $20 bill.

    Liked by 3 people

  • after a one-year pause due to U.S. sanctions.? Does this mean the sanctions by America will not anymore applied after Dec. 1?

    Liked by 2 people

    • It sounds to me like the Germans have some other vessel to finish part of Nord Stream 2 to go around the sanctions. Word games and lawyers no doubt. Looks like Biden might have to send Hunter to Germany for some bribes to support this damage to Ukraine.

      Like

  • Jesus, the Germans are some corrupt motherfuckers.

    I hope the sanctions will he dramatically increase, but I don’t understand why the U.S. waited until the line was almost finished.

    I think the 3 oil companies should be punished too for providing funding.

    Liked by 2 people

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