In late March US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken promised that the United States will continue to impose sanctions against companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2. Then the Bloomberg agency reported that new restrictions could affect the operator of the construction of the gas pipeline – the company Nord Stream 2 AG.
According to Politico, the US Justice Department has approved two new packages of sanctions against Nord Stream 2. The department proposes to introduce restrictions just against the Swiss company – the operator of the Nord Stream 2 AG gas pipeline and its head Matthias Warniga… The final decision on sanctions has not yet been made – it will depend on US President Joe Biden, a source in the US administration told Politico.
The American leader considers Nord Stream 2 “a bad deal that divides Europe.” According to the newspaper, Biden wants to appoint a special representative who will lead the negotiation process on the termination of the construction of the SP-2. It can become Amos Hochstein, during the Barack Obama administration, who headed the Department of International Relations in the field of energy and the Bureau of Energy of the State Department. Until last year, Hochstein was on the supervisory board of the Ukrainian Naftogaz.
What exactly will be the powers of the special envoy is still unknown. “But initially, his role will be focused on conducting delicate negotiations on how to prevent the completion of Nord Stream without alienating a key US official in Berlin from Washington,” Politico writes.
The first sanctions against Nord Stream 2 were imposed by the United States in December 2019, shortly before the completion of the gas pipeline: since then, companies that lease their ships for laying the SP-2 pipes can be punished. Russia is completing the construction of Nord Stream 2 on its own. At the time of the imposition of the sanctions, 6.5% of the pipeline remained to be completed, now – 5%.