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USA wants to finally kill Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas project

PRAVDA Tuesday, 20 October 2020
The US will expand sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. The sanctions will now affect companies that provide services or funding to install equipment on board the vessels that take part in the project. Such a move may permanently halt the construction of the pipeline. The news to expand the sanctions was reported on the website of the US Department of State. Similar restrictions are to be imposed on the participants of the Turkish Stream and other similar projects.The Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline provides for the construction of two sections of the gas pipeline system with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the coast of Russia to Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Originally, the construction of the pipeline system was supposed to be completed in 2019. However, the work on the project was suspended after US Congress passed a package of sanctions against the participants of the project. The USA remains opposed to the project, claiming that it makes Europe overly dependent on Russian natural gas and increases political pressure on Ukraine, which transits natural gas further to Europe. Kiev and several countries of the European Union share the same position. "Russia uses its energy export pipelines to create national and regional dependencies on Russian energy supplies, leveraging these dependencies to expand its political, economic, and military influence, weaken European security, and undermine U.S. national security and foreign policy interests. These pipelines also reduce European energy diversification, and hence weaken European energy security," the US State Department said in a statement. Russia, Germany, Austria and a number of other countries, whose companies are involved in the construction, insist that this is nothing but a business project.In late 2019, the United States imposed sanctions on Nord Stream-2, having demanded the companies involved in the construction should immediately stop their works on the project. Allseas, a Swiss company, pulled out of the project almost at once.Representatives of Russia's natural gas monopoly, Gazprom, stated that they would be able to complete the construction of Nord Stream-2 independently. For the time being, one needs to finish the construction of the section that is 100 kilometres long. On October 17, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in an interview with RND that the project would be completed.
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