U.S. senators to back expanding Nord Stream 2 sanctions to insurers
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators is planning to introduce legislation that would expand U.S. sanctions against Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline by taking aim at insurance companies that work with Russian vessels on completion of the project.
Senator Ted Cruz, one of the lead sponsors of the legislation, said that the bill will state that anyone involved in the project in any capacity will "face crippling and immediate American sanctions."
A draft of the measure obtained by Bloomberg spells out that previously enacted sanctions apply to all pipe-laying activities and insurance. It expands sanctions to companies that provide "underwriting services or insurance or reinsurance” for vessels working on the pipeline as well as those that provide "services or facilities for technology upgrades or installation of welding equipment for, or retrofitting or tethering" of vessels.
The bill, which is expected to be introduced Thursday, would extend sanctions to anyone who provides port facilities to pipe-laying vessels and tethering services.
The two vessels targeted by the sanctions - the Akademik Cherskiy and Fortuna - each have some of the tools needed to complete the pipeline but would have to be tethered together to carry out the work, according to a person familiar with the matter. The legislation also includes measures to prevent sanctions evasions by moving the ships from company to company, the person said.