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Dec 28, 2020
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“We still manage to approach the finale”: the Kremlin called the sanctions against Nord Stream 2 a raider attack

The US sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline are a blatant raider attack. This was stated by the press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov. He stressed that, despite the actions of Washington, work on the construction of the gas pipeline continues and is approaching the final. Earlier, the US Senate approved the draft military budget for 2021, including new restrictions on Nord Stream 2, but Trump vetoed the document.

The sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 project are a raider attack. This was stated by the press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov.

“Let’s take Gazprom, which is working together with its European partners on Nord Stream 2. Completely overt, such a cowboy raider attack. How else to call it? ” – said Peskov on the air of the program “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin “on the channel” Russia 1 “.

However, according to Peskov, work on the construction of the gas pipeline continues, and “it is still possible to approach the final of this project.”

Earlier, Dmitry Peskov called the sanctions against the construction of the gas pipeline an element of a hybrid war against Russia.

“This is being used as a hybrid war by the same United States. Let’s take the sanctions against Nord Stream – a pure, completely hybrid war … which is accompanied by unfair competition, “Peskov said.

Construction and sanctions

As a reminder, the Russian pipe-laying vessel Fortuna resumed construction of the German section of Nord Stream 2 on December 11, which is now more than 90% complete.

Nord Stream 2 consists of two gas pipeline strings with a length of over 1200 km each and a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters. m per year. The pipes run along the bottom of the Baltic Sea through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of five countries: Russia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Germany.

The Gazprom company decided to complete the construction of the gas pipeline on its own after the Swiss contractor of the project stopped work due to the US sanctions.

  • USA congress
  • Reuters
  • © Tom Brenner

At the same time, the US Senate approved the US defense budget – the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2021 in the amount of $ 740.5 billion, to which a package of sanctions against the Russian gas pipeline was attached.

In particular, the restrictive measures concern companies providing insurance and certification services necessary to complete the construction of the pipe. Also under the sanctions are companies that are engaged in the installation or modernization of welding equipment on ships involved in the construction of the gas pipeline.

At the same time, Donald Trump, who was in favor of stopping the construction of Nord Stream 2, did not sign the document and vetoed it, arguing that the law does not contain important points to ensure US national security.

The official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Maria Zakharova previously noted that Washington’s attempts to prevent the successful completion of the project are elements of the policy of containing Russia.

“We also understand very well that the United States of America will not stop trying to prevent Russia from implementing not only this project, but also foreign policy and international activities in general. We record this regularly, constantly. This is called our country’s containment policy. It is multi-component, ”the diplomat said.

European objections

Disagreement with the US sanctions has been repeatedly voiced in Europe. In early December, a spokesman for the European Commission’s press service, Peter Stano, said that American restrictions are contrary to international law.

“The EU in principle opposes the imposition of sanctions by third countries against EU companies doing legitimate business. The extraterritorial application of sanctions is contrary to international law. European policy is determined in Europe, not in third countries, ”RIA Novosti quoted Stano as saying.

Stano added that the European Commission is developing proposals that could protect European countries from such sanctions.

“The Commission is working to create proposals that will increase Europe’s resilience to the consequences of the extraterritorial application of sanctions imposed by third countries,” he said.

Germany, for which the project is of particular importance, has also repeatedly stated that Berlin’s position remains unchanged and the construction of the gas pipeline will be completed. On December 16, this was once again confirmed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“With regard to Nord Stream, the position of the German government remains absolutely unchanged, as it has been in recent years,” the politician said.

Later, the head of the Bundestag Committee on Economics and Energy, Klaus Ernst, expressed confidence that the gas pipeline would be completed, despite the sanctions from Washington.

“I think the Americans will impose sanctions. At the same time, this must first be discussed with European authorities. I suppose that there will be sanctions, but Nord Stream 2 will still be completed, “Interfax quoted him as saying.

At the same time, Klaus Ernst stressed that the German government does not accept the introduction of extraterritorial sanctions.

“If the Americans stay where they are, then Europe will have to defend against the US sanctions policy by its own measures,” the German politician added.

According to him, so far there are no concrete decisions in this direction, but there is a discussion of possible retaliatory actions against the American side “from retaliatory sanctions to penalties on the import of American gas.”

Market relations

As Konstantin Voronov, head of the regional problems and conflicts sector of the European Political Studies Department of the IMEMO RAN, noted in a conversation with RT, Washington continues its sophisticated struggle against Nord Stream 2.

  • Construction of the Nord Stream 2 project
  • © Nord Stream 2 / Paul Langrock

“The legal side of the case plays an important role here. The Americans in this area will use all methods of struggle, even those of which the Europeans are unaware. Sometimes politics prevails over economics. We observe that, despite the objective circumstances of the benefits for the Europeans, overseas are adamant in their decision to impose sanctions, “Voronov said.

In turn, political analyst Alexander Asafov, in a conversation with RT, explained that sanctions against the Russian gas pipeline are an instrument of unfair competition in the fight for the implementation of American plans to seize the European hydrocarbon market.

“Throughout his term in office, Donald Trump has been developing the shale sector and increasing serious production. Now it needs to be implemented somewhere. And the most promising is the European market, since it is a dependent market. He is politically dependent, he is military dependent in the NATO bloc. And the Americans rightly believe that as long as they retain a certain influence, the Europeans should abandon Russian gas and other hydrocarbons in favor of American ones, ”the expert said.

Asafov added that, in addition to the sanctions policy, other instruments are also used as methods of pressure, for example, lobbying for the European “third energy package” and promoting ideas about energy security.

Germany is particularly interested in completing the project, since Russian gas is important not only for heating homes, but also for German industry, Asafov said.

“American liquefied natural gas is not even chemically suitable for industrial use. Therefore, German business is keenly aware that through this political pressure they will be seriously damaged. The Germans have an excellent understanding that the Americans get the lever of universal pressure on German business – the price lever. And the price for Russian gas is transparent, the agreements are always respected, there are no problems. They understand that they will simply be held hostage if Washington blocks Nord Stream 2 and imposes its own conditions on them, ”the political scientist concluded.

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