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Germany Looks To Protect Russia-Led Nord Stream 2 From US Sanctions

The German state where the controversial Russia-led natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 is planned to land has proposed the creation of a state-protected foundation that would hold the assets of Nord Stream in a bid to protect the project from U.S. sanctions, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing a proposal of the provincial government of Mecklenburg–West Pomerania.

The proposal is to hold the Nord Stream 2 assets inside a foundation whose official purpose will be to protect the environment, according to the document Bloomberg has seen.  

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.

Germany, for its part, is looking at the economic benefits of the Nord Stream 2 project.

In July, the United States warned the companies that were helping to complete Nord Stream 2 that they should ‘get out now’ or face the consequences, as the Trump Administration stepped up efforts to stop the construction of the controversial Russia-led pipeline in Europe.

“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.  

In October, the U.S. Department of State said it was 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. 

The annual U.S. defense bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), also targets the pipeline, targeting any company providing any help for the completion of the pipeline. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on bill, which passed in the House, this week.  

It’s unlikely that German lawmakers and politicians will decide on the regional proposal to shield Nord Stream 2 from U.S. sanctions before the end of this year, Claudia Mueller, a lawmaker in federal parliament representing Mecklenburg-West Pomerania from the opposition Greens told Bloomberg.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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