US warns entities involved in Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project to 'immediately abandon work'

A 2019 photo shows workers at the construction site of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Russia. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Thursday (March 18) for "any entity involved" in the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany to disengage "immediately" or face US sanctions.

In a statement, he said President Joe Biden's administration was "committed to complying" with the law passed in 2019 and extended in 2020 by the US Congress that provides for sanctions.

"Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal - for Germany, for Ukraine, and for our Central and Eastern European allies and partners," Blinken said, reiterating Washington's long-standing opposition to the US$11 billion (S$14 billion) gas pipeline running under the Baltic Sea.

He denounced it as a "Russian geopolitical project intended to divide Europe and weaken European energy security."

The State Department "is tracking efforts to complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and is evaluating information regarding entities that appear to be involved," he added.

Accused by many elected officials, especially Republicans, of not taking action with punitive measures provided by law, Blinken reiterated the US "warning that any entity involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline risks US sanctions and should immediately abandon work on the pipeline."

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