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German utility Uniper – one of five Western European companies partially funding the Russia-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project – warned on Tuesday that it might have to write down the value of a loan to the project if U.S. sanctions succeed in stifling it.
During a call with analysts to discuss Uniper’s first-half performance, the company’s chief executive Andreas Schierenbeck said that sanctions pressure on the pipeline project designed to carry Russian gas to Germany had intensified.
“The worst case would be, of course, if (Nord Stream 2) would never be finished and then, of course, the question is can we get our money back or not,” Schierenbeck said on the call, as carried by Reuters.
Still, Uniper’s top executive expects the controversial gas pipeline project to go ahead as planned.
Uniper, together with Shell, ENGIE, OMV, and Wintershall DEA, is partially financing the project. Each of the five companies has committed funding of up to US$1.12 billion (950 million euro) to the project, equal to 50 percent of its total cost of US$11.2 billion (9.5 billion euro).
Uniper’s Schierenbeck said today that the company’s investment in Nord Stream 2 so far is not subject to the current U.S. sanctions.
The U.S., however, is ready to increase the sanctions pressure and warned last month companies helping Russia to complete Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream 2 that they should ‘get out now’ or face consequences.
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“It’s a clear warning to companies aiding and abetting Russia’s malign influence projects will not be tolerated. Get out now, or risk the consequences,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in mid-July.
Russia, for its part, continues to say that regardless of the U.S. sanctions, the Nord Stream 2 project would be completed soon.
The latest comment came on Tuesday from Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a joint news conference after meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
“In my understanding, there is reason to believe this will be done in the near future,” Lavrov said, as quoted by RT, and added: “We clearly see how Washington operates in the international arena, without shying away from any methods, which is proven by the situation around the Nord Stream 2.”
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.