The United States officially blacklisted more than 12 Russian ships involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, shortly after removing the Russian operating company and its chief executive from the list.
The move was announced in advance on May 21 by the US Treasury Department, while there was strong criticism from Republican lawmakers over the White House announcement that the Russian operating company itself would no longer be part of the sanctions.
Almost completed, the Baltic Sea pipeline will bring Russian gas directly to Germany, bypassing road lines through Ukraine, Belarus and other countries.
Critics say the pipeline will increase Germany’s dependence on Russian energy and make Berlin more vulnerable to Kremlin policies. They also say the pipeline will deny Ukraine and other countries the benefits of transit tariffs, Ora News reports.
However, the pipeline is backed by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government. Political observers said President Joe Biden did not appear to resolve the dispute with a US ally over the issue.