Russia Gas Export Pipeline in Jeopardy as U.S. Sanctions Loom

Swiss-Dutch company Allseas said it had suspended work on building a major Russia-to-Germany natural gas pipeline in order to avoid U.S. sanctions contained in legislation signed by President Donald Trump on Friday, Reuters writes.

The move throws into doubt the completion date of the $11 billion project that Moscow had said would be ready in months, jeopardizing plans to quickly expand Russian sales of natural gas to Europe via pipeline.

The participation of privately-held Allseas, a specialist in subsea construction and laying underwater pipeline, is integral to the completion of Nord Stream 2, led by Russia’s state energy company Gazprom.

“In anticipation of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Allseas has suspended its Nord Stream 2 pipelay activities,” the company said in a statement dated December 21, seen by Reuters shortly before Trump signed the bill. “Allseas will proceed, consistent with the legislation’s wind down provision and expect guidance comprising of the necessary regulatory, technical and environmental clarifications from the relevant US authority.”

The annual national defense policy bill contains legislation, first sponsored by Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, imposing sanctions on companies laying pipe for the project that will double the pipeline’s capacity to Germany.

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