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Gazprom has warned investors that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project could be suspended or discontinued due to “political pressure,” among other exceptional circumstances, the Russian gas giant says in a bond prospectus that Reuters has seen.
Gazprom leads the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project planned to deliver gas from Russia to Germany.
Germany has always looked at the project from an economic standpoint, while the United States, several European countries, including the Baltic states and Poland, as well as the European Union (EU), have expressed concern about Russia using gas sales and its gas monopoly Gazprom as a political tool.
Over the past months, the U.S. has been broadening the sanctions against service providers and those funding vessels involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 in a fresh attempt to prevent the project from completing. There is still a stretch of the pipeline route to be laid in the sea, but the U.S. is now targeting anyone helping the project’s completion in any way.
In the prospectus detailing the intention to sell bonds seen by Reuters, Gazprom says that “While implementing our major international projects, such as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, we have faced and may continue to encounter risks associated with changes in political conditions in various regions related to such projects.”
“In exceptional circumstances, including owing to political pressure, such changes may result in a project being suspended or discontinued,” according to Gazprom’s prospectus cited by Reuters.
The widening U.S. sanctions on Nord Stream 2 are a kind of hybrid warfare used by the United States, Vladimir Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said last month.
Speaking to reporters today, Peskov said that “This international project is still facing crude, illegal pressure from the United States of America,” Russian news agency TASS reported.
The U.S. plans to sanction the Russian pipe-laying vessel Fortuna and its owner KVT-RUS, German business daily Handelsblatt reported on Monday.
The U.S. will continue to take all steps it considers necessary and appropriate to prevent the completion of Nord Stream 2, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy told the newspaper.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.
And with 96% of the 1230-km long pipeline already completed, any prospects of suspending it or discontinuing it are unthinkable. President Putin’s and Russia’s reputations are on the line.
This is a battle between two titans: the United States and Russia. There will be one winner and this winner will be Putin’s Russia.
Russia won the previous battles in the 1960s and the 1980s over the USSR-backed Druzhba oil pipeline and the Bratstvo gas pipeline to Europe respectively.
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London