Thursday, December 12, 2019

Nord Stream 2: as sanctions lie ahead, stakeholders become thin-skinned

The US congress, in a rare bipartisan proceeding, have resolved a legislative package in the framework of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that includes sanctions against companies supporting the construction of controversial gas pipeline Nord Stream 2.
The White House has indicated that US-President Donald Trump is going to sign the legislative package:
"U.S. Senate and House committees have agreed to include a bill sanctioning Russia's new natural-gas pipeline to Europe into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), putting up a potential roadblock to the project’s completion.
The House and Senate are expected to vote later this month on the NDAA, which often becomes a vehicle for a range of policy initiatives, as it's one of only a few pieces of major legislation that Congress approves each year.
The proposal attached to the bill that addresses Nord Stream 2 would impose U.S. sanctions on any companies helping Russia lay the $11 billion pipeline."
Sanctions would include entry bans and revocation of visa for executives and main shareholders of the companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 as well as freezing of financial transactions of the persons concerned.

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Meanwhile a polish ecological organisation, the Polski Klub Ekologiczny, has appealed the approval of the danish energy authority that cleared the way for the construction of the last segment of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
The ecological organisation claims that the operator of the pipeline, the Nord Stream 2 AG, didn't establish with a sufficient degree that the pipeline will not harm protected natural areas along the route.

After the resolution of the of the sanctions by US-lawmakers the chairman of the russo-german Foreign Trade Chamber, Mathias Schepp, urged for counter-sanctions.
Schepp is a former "Der Spiegel"-Journalist and former head of their Moscow bureau between 2006 and 2012.

German foreign minister Heiko Maas (SPD) on his part fustigated the sanctions in a tweet, stating that "european energy policy shall be decided in Europe and not in United States. We oppose on principle to foreign interference and to sanctions with exterritorial effects."

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