MOSCOW – The construction of a Russian gas pipeline into the European Union will be sped up amid fresh US sanctions that target companies involved in the infrastructure project.
State-owned gas company Gazprom is building an undersea pipeline, Nord Stream 2, that will boost Russian gas exports to the EU.
But the US says the project is marred in security concerns.
“Germany can’t have more than 50 thousand GREAT US soldiers on their soil and take Russian gas at the same time. This is another example of how our ALLIES were fooling us for years. This time is OVER. With me. They need to choose which side they belong to!!” Trump tweeted Saturday.
President Donald Trump signed a bill on Friday to impose sanctions on companies involved in the project.
The move targeted Swiss pipe-laying company Allseas, Turkstream gas pipelines, and Nord Stream 2.
“Allseas has suspended pipelay activities until legal, technical, and environmental clarifications are received,” Nord Stream 2 was quoted as saying by Russian news agency Taas.
“Completion of the project is important for the security of energy supplies to Europe. We, together with the companies participating in the project, will work to complete it as soon as possible,” the company added.
Allseas announced early Saturday the suspension of activities in connection to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The company has requested further clarification from the US.
The NDAA approved by the US senate Friday outlined an annual budget for the US Department of Defense for the 2020 fiscal year, which started on Oct. 1.
The Nord Stream 2 project is aiming to create two gas lines that will connect Russia with Germany.
The gas line will deliver 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year to EU partners.
US sanctions have angered the bloc and Germany has accused Washington of interfering in internal affairs and the EU’s energy policies.
“We oppose extraterritorial sanctions,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Dec. 18.
“I do not see any other way than talks, serious talks, but we do not tolerate this practice.”