The United States of America has almost completed the drafting of a draft law on sanctions against Russian and European companies involved in the Nord Stream-2 project, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported referring to high-ranking sources. The information was published right after the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel, at which the leaders of the two countries discussed the details of the construction.
Thus, the United States once again warned Russia and Germany of their intentions to disrupt the gas pipeline project. Experts told «MK» how countries will resist the sanctions threat.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel consider it wrong to attempt to politicize the Nord Stream-2 project. This was reported by the press secretary of the Russian leader Dmitry Peskov following the talks between the leaders. «On the whole, there is an understanding that the project is absolutely commercially viable, competitive, and therefore it is necessary to take measures to protect it from possible uncompetitive and illegal attacks from third countries,» he said.
In contrast to this meeting, the famous American edition of The Wall Street Journal broke out an article from which it follows that the US is preparing to impose new sanctions against organizations participating in the Nord Stream-2 project in the coming weeks.
For half a year, American officials have made it clear that they will impose sanctions against the construction of the Nord Stream-2. At least there were two statements from officials of the US State Department, as well as from other departments, but no measures have been taken so far, says artisan RusEnergy consulting company Mikhail KRUTIKHIN .
«Report on sanctions against companies involved in the project, issued a well-known American publication with reference to incomprehensible sources. To introduce such measures right now the United States does not work, — the expert underlines. — The current law on sanctions says that the White House is allowed to take them against the «Nord Stream-2″, but only in agreement with the European partners, that is, with Germany, which is categorically against it. » According to Krutikhin, in order to change this situation, the United States will have to adopt a new law on sanctions, and this will take a very long time. «A document can be formulated and adopted in weeks, months. During this time, it is possible to build a pipe along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, «he summed up.
The main question is which sanctions will be imposed in the end: only against those companies that participate in the construction or those that finance it, said Director of the Energy Development Fund Sergei PIKIN . «Certain consultations with Berlin, obviously, are under way. Germany opposes restrictions, otherwise the penalties would have been introduced long ago, «the interlocutor of the MK stressed. — So far, sanctions have been announced in words. It is necessary to look, in what edition they will be accepted. Any obstacles are always costly. Of course, sanctions will add to the complexity of this project, but there is nothing insurmountable. »
Reports about the possible introduction of sanctions are related, in particular, to the upcoming elections to the US Congress and are aimed at the American establishment, said Nikita Maslennikov, head of the department of finance and economics of the Institute of Contemporary Development. He noted that the threats and intentions to punish the construction of the «Nord Stream-2» both Russian companies and European ones were not small, but they did not end there. «Americans are interested in promoting their liquefied natural gas (LNG) to European markets. The news published by The Wall Street Journal should be considered in the context of an attempt to press diplomatic pressure on the EU in order to cede it to the United States and give an opportunity to expand the presence of their LNG on the European market. «Nord Stream-2» is a convenient and well-trodden path for this, «the expert points out.
Recall, according to WSJ, the US is preparing a package of sanctions that will affect not only the Russian Gazprom, but all other organizations involved in the project, for example, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Wintershall AG, Uniper SE, OMVAG and Engie SA. Many companies on the list published by the American publication somehow represent US interests, Maslennikov said «MK» and added that the State Department and the US Treasury first have to figure it out.
The expert notes: «Information about sanctions, this is a kind of draw of cards. First, the Americans warn that they will complicate life by introducing all sorts of restrictions, and then they offer Europe to agree on increased supplies of American LNG. » Sanctions against the Northern Flux-2 risk damaging the Americans themselves, Maslennikov stressed.