Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in early June that the first leg of Nord Stream 2 had been successfully completed. The project is now nearly 95% ready; it will deliver Russian gas to Germany, bypassing Ukraine.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas believes that it is early to dismiss the possibility of new US sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Bloomberg reported.
According to the report, Maas underlined that neither American Democrats nor Republicans have been positive about the $11-billion project, but the foreign minister was still optimistic that a decision to the ongoing tensions could be found in the coming months over ongoing negotiations with partners on the subject.
Maas also said he was hopeful that the Nord Stream 2 would not remain a source of conflict in US-German relations.
The United States has been actively trying to kill the project, which is set to transport up to 55 billion cubic metres of Russian gas to Germany each year. Washington maintains that Nord Stream would leave Europe too dependent on Russia, and has so far introduced several rounds on sanctions against those vessels and companies engaged in the pipeline’s construction.
Most recently, it blacklisted 13 Russian ships and three firms linked to the project but decided to waive sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG, the Switzerland-registered firm behind the pipeline’s construction, and its CEO Matthias Warnig. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that it was in the US “national interest” to keep Warnig and Nord Stream 2 AG unaffected by sanctions.
During a press conference on 19 May, Maas said that the US decided to waive sanctions against the company and its CEO was “a constructive step” , adding that Berlin “will continue dialogue with our partners in Washington”.