On Wednesday, President Joe Biden said that the United States would be expanding penalties on Moscow after it recognized two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine. Biden said the U.S. would impose sanctions on the company in charge of building Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, targeting the Nord Stream 2 AG company and its corporate officers, adding pressure on the Baltic Sea project that was designed to double the gas flow capacity from Russia to Germany. Nord Stream 2 has not begun operations pending certification by Germany and the European Union.
Germany on Tuesday halted the pipeline, worth $11 billion, citing Russia’s actions toward Ukraine. The United States and the EU worry the pipeline will increase Europe’s dependence on Russian energy supplies and deny transit fees to Ukraine, host to another Russian gas pipeline. The White House said the sanctions will not affect Gerhard Schroeder, a former German chancellor and a close friend of Putin’s who has headed the shareholders committee of Nord Stream since 2005.
Biden said in a statement his administration has been closely coordinating Nord Stream 2 action with Germany, adding: “Today, I have directed my administration to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its corporate officers. These steps are another piece of our initial tranche of sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. As I have made clear, we will not hesitate to take further steps if Russia continues to escalate.”
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