Kremlin decries US sanctions on Russia-German gas pipeline as ‘cowboy’ attack
The Kremlin says US sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will carry natural gas from Russia to Germany, are a blatant “cowboy-like” attack on the project jointly developed by Russian and European companies.
Spokesman Dmitry Peskov made the comment in an interview with Rossiya-1 TV channel on Sunday after US lawmakers earlier in the month agreed to extend sanctions on companies involved in the construction of the $11.6 billion pipeline project, including the Russia’s energy giant Gazprom.
“Let’s take Gazprom, which works jointly with its European partners on Nord Stream 2. It is an absolutely blatant cowboy-like raid. I am referring to these sanctions against Nord Stream 2. How else can we call it?” Peskov wondered.
The Kremlin spokesman stressed that the work on the gas pipeline was underway and the project was about to be completed despite Washington’s obstructionist efforts.
On December 4, the US Congress adopted the Defense Authorization Bill – a broad document that includes, among other things, new sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The bill, however, was rejected by US President Donald Trump, who dismissed the bill for lacking pandemic relief efforts and being a “gift” to Russia and China.
Washington claims that the pipeline project, which has become a flashpoint in relations between Russia and the West that have sunk to post-Cold War lows, compromises European energy security.
President Trump has repeatedly criticized Germany for increasingly growing dependent on Russia to meet its energy needs.
Washington initially imposed sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 in October last year, targeting businesses that provide services or funds to upgrade or install equipment on ships that are being used to lay the pipeline.
Swiss-based company Allseas, which has been laying the pipeline, suspended operations last December because of the US sanctions targeting companies providing vessels.
Russia recently resumed after a one-year hiatus the construction of the highly controversial pipeline project, in clear defiance of US opposition and sanctions imposed on Moscow over the plan.
Russia has two projects to send natural gas to Europe, namely the Nord Steam 2 and the Turk Stream 2 pipeline, which will supply Western Europe with energy.
The 1,230-km Nord Steam 2 will deliver Russian gas via the Baltic Sea, bypassing Poland and Ukraine. The Turk Stream 2 will carry gas through Bulgaria.
Germany currently imports around a third of its gas from Russia through Ukraine.