The U.S. State Department reported to Congress that it had designated a vessel and a “Russian-related entity” called Transadria Ltd., which was related to the disputed pipeline, which was designed to transport natural gas from Russia to Germany. And it has raised concerns about Moscow’s capabilities. Use energy supply as a lever for Europe.
Brinken stated that the report and sanctions submitted to Congress meet the requirements of the 2019 European Energy Security Act.
“Today’s report is in line with the continuing US opposition to the North Stream 2 pipeline and the US government’s continued compliance with PEESA requirements,” Brinken said in the statement. “Through today’s action, according to the PEESA related to Beixi 2, the government has now imposed sanctions on 8 people and identified 17 of their ships as blocked property.”
“Even if the government continues to oppose the Beixi 2 pipeline, including through our sanctions, we continue to work with Germany and other allies and partners to reduce the pipeline’s risks to Ukraine and front-line NATO and EU countries, and prevent opposition to harmful Russia Activities, including in the energy sector,” Brinken said.
When the sanctions were introduced on Monday, there were reports that Russian troops were gathering near the Ukrainian border, which led to fears that Moscow might be planning some kind of military action.
Biden government officials said that because the pipeline was basically completed when they took office, President Joe Biden gave up sanctions on the German companies behind the pipeline construction in order to repair relations with Berlin. Instead, government officials said they plan to take other measures.
“Today’s designation will definitely not stop North Stream 2,” said Rep. Michael McCall of Texas, who is the main Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “I urge the Senate to pass the bipartisan NDAA amendment between me and Representative Marcy Kaptur to expand Nord Stream 2 sanctions. We must take immediate action to ensure that natural gas never flows through this maliciously affected Russian project.”
Nord Stream 2 is one of several pipelines laid by Russia under the Black Sea and Baltic Sea to replace the pipeline that passes through Eastern Europe. Analysts and lawmakers raised concerns because the new system allows Russia to create different natural gas flows for Eastern and Western Europe, and may allow Moscow to selectively target energy cutoff countries such as Ukraine.
Bypassing Eastern European countries also means that these countries will be deprived of the transit fees that Russia has to pay for pipelines that traverse its territory.
The State Department spokesperson stated that the government is working with Germany, Ukraine and other allies and partners to implement the July agreement to help Ukraine diversify its energy supply, with a focus on clean and sustainable energy.
The spokesperson said: “The package of measures detailed in the joint statement provides at least US$245 million in new funding to help Ukraine diversify its energy resources.” “It also promises that Germany will use all available means to promote natural gas in Ukraine and Russia. The extension of the transit agreement will help Ukraine retain billions of dollars in transit revenue and buy time for Ukraine to eliminate its dependence on Russian gas and transit fees, including with the support of the United States.”
Monday’s US sanctions were implemented after Berlin took action last week to suspend the certification process for Nord Stream 2, because the Swiss group behind the project needed to establish a German subsidiary to obtain an operating license. The delayed news caused European natural gas prices to soar.
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