US warns sanctions on Nord Stream 2 possible
The U.S. stepped up its opposition to the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, saying the project raises security concerns and that it could draw U.S. sanctions, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy diplomacy Sandra Oudkirk said.
Speaking to reporters in Berlin, Oudkirk said the project could sanctioned under a bill passed in August 2017. Congress passed the legislation in response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and its suspected U.S. election interference, giving the government authority to act against any Russian energy projects including Nord Stream 2, the envoy said.
"That means that any pipeline project, and there are multiple pipeline projects in the world that are potentially covered, is at an elevated sanctions risk," Bloomberg cited Oudkirk as saying.
Oudkirk said the U.S. also opposed the pipeline due to security concerns, adding it would allow Russia to place listening devices along the pipeline’s route, although she declined to comment on specific devices.
Oudkirk brushed aside as “false” the suggestion that the U.S. is opposing the pipeline to ensure the U.S. has Europe as a potential market liquefied natural gas. She noted the U.S. has long-opposed projects that would make Europe more dependent on Russian energy sources.