German oil and gas company Wintershall Dea, one of five western partners in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project led by Russia’s Gazprom, has reportedly rejected sanctions planned by the United States.
According to an article by Reuters, the sanctions planned by the U.S. are aimed to discourage its completion.
Wintershall Dea chief executive Mario Mehren told Reuters in a phone call on Wednesday after presenting half-year results that Nord Stream 2 would be completed and loans would be repaid as it is a project that Europe needs.
“We have seen that the project has been brought into a broader geopolitical framework that is threatening a number of industries and parties involved. We reject these as does the German government and the European Commission and a number of European countries“, he added.
To remind, the developer of Nord Stream 2 said the investments needed to complete the pipeline could be blocked if the U.S. imposed sanctions against companies involved in the project.
In a hardening of its position against Russian energy export projects, the U.S. State Department on July 15 updated part of its Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) legislation from August 2017.
Companies involving in building the Nord Stream 2 link can now be targeted, whereas before they were exempted from potential measures under the CAATSA legislation.
Expanded sanctions against the project are also now under consideration that would target more companies involved in laying the line’s final segment, including service providers and insurers.
It is worth noting that an EU delegation communicated its position to the U.S. State Department on 12 August. Namely, 24 of the 27 members stated that the sanctions are in breach of international law.
As for the project, Nord Stream 2 is crucial to Russia’s plans to scale down from 2021 the use of the Ukrainian transit corridor in its gas supplies to Europe.
To put it into a more positive spirit, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said on 11 August that he believed the pipeline would be completed in “the near future“.