Gazprom’s attempt to wriggle out from under US sanctions blocking the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project looks like it won’t work. The US Senator Ted Cruz stated that he remains committed to permanently stopping the project, writes Diane Francis for atlanticcouncil.org.
“Senator Cruz believes that the United States must do everything possible to prevent Putin’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline from ever coming online,” responded his spokesperson. “His legislation with Senator [Jean] Shaheen was a scalpel designed to do the absolute minimum necessary to halt the pipeline in 2019. If Russia pushes to complete the pipeline in 2020, there are many other options that the President and Congress have at their disposal, including broader sanctions.”
On December 20, 2019, sanctions were enacted and the underwater pipeline, which is designed to bypass Ukraine’s natural gas transit system and deliver 70 percent of Russia’s gas exports to a hub in Germany instead, was halted just 160 kilometers short of completion. Within hours, Gazprom’s contractor, Swiss-based Allseas Group S.A., ended its involvement. Russia has no vessels with the unique technological capability to finish the project.