May 22, 2021 – 11:00
The United States has officially blacklisted dozens of Russian ships involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
The US Treasury Department announcement comes after Republican Republicans criticized Congress for an earlier announcement by the White House that it would not include the Russian pipeline operator in its sanctions list.
The pipeline, built almost in the Baltic Sea, will bring Russian gas directly to Germany, passing through Ukraine, Belarus and other countries.
Critics say this will increase Germany’s dependence on Russian energy and make Berlin more sensitive to Russian policies. It will also deprive Ukraine and other countries of the benefit of transit tariffs.
However, the pipeline is backed by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government and political observers say President Joe Biden does not appear to want to foment conflict with a US ally over the issue.
Earlier in the week, the US State Department announced that it did not intend to include the Russian-owned pipeline operator Nord Stream 2 AG in its sanctions list, nor its ally, Matthias Warnig, the alliance’s chief executive. and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Republican senators have said they will draft legislation to reinstate sanctions.