US threatens sanctions against Nord Stream 2 contractors

The move risks heightening tensions amid an ongoing dispute on US tariffs on German cars

The US is reportedly preparing to impose sanctions on all EU firms that co-finance Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany and companies involved in laying the pipes in the Baltic Sea. According to WSJ, which first reported the news, the financial penalties would follow an amendment to existing measures against Russia, the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.

The German-Russian pipeline project had long been a bone of contention between Berlin and Washington, which fears it will make Europe’s largest economy excessively reliant on Russian energy. Yet, the move now risk heightening tensions amid an ongoing dispute on US tariffs on German cars.

News come almost two months after the US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell has reportedly sent a letter warning Germany's two pipeline partners, Uniper and Wintershall, that they face economic sanctions in case they continue their involvement with Nord Stream 2. It was the first time a US official had sent a direct warning to a Nord Stream 2 partner. Washington has also threatened sanctions against companies constructing the pipeline. Switzerland’s Allseas and Italy’s Saipem were in January warned they are facing sanctions that included being unable to bid on US projects.

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