The Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline, which will one day bring gas from Russia to Germany, has long been a source of irritation between Germany and the United States. The pipeline is over 90% complete. But to complete the work on the seabed of the Baltic Sea, 160 kilometers of pipe south of the Baltic island of Bornholm have to be laid. The US government has been working successfully to prevent this from happening. Over 1,000 kilometers have already been completed.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has responded and repeated a threat that had previously been heard from the Trump administration: Companies that are involved in the project will be sanctioned without further ado. These sanctions include having their U.S. visas denied or revoked, and their U.S. properties blocked.
The recent example of Allseas, which was commissioned to lay the pipes, showed that Trump is serious. In 2019, US President Trump passed punitive measures against companies involved in the construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline. Allseas then stopped working on the construction of the natural gas pipeline. Since then, construction work on the pipeline has been suspended and should be completed by the end of 2019. The geopolitical war for energy and international alliances takes place this summer just before the beaches of the Baltic Sea.
The Obama administration also attempted to influence the debate with a sanctions policy also headed under Daniel Fried, much to the annoyance of Berlin. Back in 2016, German ambassador to the U.S., Peter Wittig stated, “Some things the Europeans need to decide for themselves.”
The American presidents claim that they are trying to protect Europe’s largest economy from being a “captive” of Russia. Now more recently, German finance minister Olaf Scholz describes the American legislation as interfering with the sovereignty of Germany and Europa as a whole.
As one can see from the diagram below, this is the second pipeline to be put in place. The first one is already completed.
The sanctions are imposed under the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions” Act (CAATSA). One can question today whether Russia is a political enemy of the United States, or merely an economic challenge.
Nord Stream 2 is financed by energy companies from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Austria. The project involves more than 200 companies from 17 countries worldwide.
Translated from Gabor Steingart, with additional information by Nord-stream2.com
The management of Fährhafen Sassnitz GmbH, a port management company, has been threatened in a letter by three US senators close to the oil industry, including Ted Cruz.
The letter states:
“If you continued to provide goods, services and support to the Nord Stream 2 project, you would destroy the future financial survival of your business.”
And, what horrible, international crime have they committed?
The pipes that are essential for the German-Russian pipeline project are stored on their premises. In addition, the port serves as a base for the Russian laying vessels “Fortuna” and “Akademik Cherskiy”, which are supposed to bring the project to a close after threats of US sanctions forced a Swiss company to give up.