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US warns entities involved in Nord Stream 2 to 'immediately abandon work'

·2-min read
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project "a bad deal -- for Germany for Ukraine, and for our Central and Eastern European partners and allies"

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Thursday for "any entity involved" in the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany to disengage "immediately" or face sanctions.

In a statement, he said President Joe Biden's administration was committed to complying with the law passed in 2019 and extended in 2020 by the US Congress that provides for sanctions.

"Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal -- for Germany, for Ukraine, and for our Central and Eastern European allies and partners," Blinken said, reiterating Washington's long-standing opposition to the $11 billion gas pipeline running under the Baltic Sea.

He denounced it as a "Russian geopolitical project intended to divide Europe and weaken European energy security."

The State Department "is tracking efforts to complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and is evaluating information regarding entities that appear to be involved," he added.

Accused by many elected officials, especially Republicans, of not taking action with punitive measures provided by law, Blinken reiterated the US "warning that any entity involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline risks US sanctions and should immediately abandon work on the pipeline."

Republican Representative Michael McCaul praised the administration's adherence to the policy, but called the "lack of action" on the matter "concerning."

"There are more than a dozen entities reportedly working on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline currently that should be sanctioned, as is required by law," McCaul said in a statement.

"If President Biden and Secretary Blinken want to make it clear they oppose the pipeline, which is already 95 percent complete, they should impose those mandatory sanctions. Immediately."

But Blinken pointed out last week that construction on the pipeline began in 2018, while the previous Republican administration was in office.

"I've been on the job, I think, five weeks," he said during a hearing in the House of Representatives.

"I wish we didn't find ourselves in this situation with a pipeline that’s virtually complete."