The US sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project violate international law, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said in a statement.
“From the very beginning, Washington strove to prevent the development of normal energy cooperation between Russia and Europe,” Antonov said on Friday. “The unilateral actions of the Americans against the project violate international law and contradict the principle of free-market relations. This is nothing more than an attempt to gain a competitive advantage for its fuel and technology suppliers.”
Antonov also said Russia believes that the format for using the Nord Stream 2 pipeline should be determined in Europe, primarily in Germany, and not in the United States.
Earlier on Friday, the Treasury Department said the United States had imposed sanctions on two Russian companies and two vessels over their involvement in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.
“In general, today’s anti-Russian attacks demonstrate Washington’s lack of will to implement the important understandings that were reached between the presidents of the two countries at the June summit in Geneva,” Antonov said.
The new sanctions target the Russian insurance company Konstanta and the company Nobility, along with the Ostap Sheremeta vessel linked to Nobility, the Treasury Department said. Also targeted is the Russian-flagged vessel Ivan Sidorenko.
The United States has also re-issued a license that will allow businesses and individuals to conduct limited transactions with Russia’s Federal State Budgetary Institution Marine Rescue Service (MRS), provided that these are not related to the Nord Stream 2 project, the Treasury Department said.
The Nord Stream 2 project, which is 99 percent completed, provides for the construction of a 745-mile offshore twin pipeline aimed to supply up to 1.9 trillion cubic feet of gas per year from Russia directly to Germany. Ukraine and several eastern European states have called on the European Union to abandon the project, citing the bloc’s perceived energy over-dependence on Moscow.
Russia has insisted that the Nord Stream 2 is an entirely commercial undertaking, urging critics to stop politicising the project.