Russia is now on its final leg of construction for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, and Washington is hoping--at the very least--to delay construction further via additional sanctions because this pipeline will essentially double Russia’s direct export capacity to Germany (the first EU entry point) to 110 billion cubic meters per year. In other words, the new pipeline will have a 55 billion cubic meter capacity for piping gas from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea.
With the pipeline now 93% complete, Washington is trying to impose new sanctions on companies involved in the completion of this pipeline. While most media pundits have shrugged off these new sanctions, which are presently in the form of a US Senate bill, Denmark could pose some complications for Russia.
So, do sanctions work, and could new sanctions actually delay Nord Stream? Yes, they can. They may not stop it, but they can delay it. Here’s how:
While the pipeline’s point of entry into the European Union is Germany, which is extremely unhappy about the new sanctions bill, Russia wants to change the process for laying pipe in Danish waters. The last leg of Nord Stream requires 160 kilometers of pipe to be laid in Danish waters, for which Russia already has a permit. However, Gazprom now wishes to change the technique for pipelaying, which requires an amendment to the existing permit. Denmark has said it will take some four weeks for them to decide…