About 18 companies, including oil services company Baker Hughes Co and insurance group AXA Group, have recently stopped working on the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project and will not be sanctioned, according to a Biden administration document sent to Congress last week and consulted by Reuters.
Earlier, Reuters revealed that the US State Department has warned European companies that it suspects that are helping Russia in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that they risks sanctions. According to an American diplomat, the State Department is preparing to publish a report on the companies it believes are helping to build the pipeline that starts in Russia and reaches Germany. Among the companies that could be mentioned in the report are insurance companies, those that help install the submarine pipeline or those that check the construction equipment, the source quoted by Agerpres also said.
State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters in recent days that the fact that these companies are giving up because of the approaching sanctions “proves that our legislative objectives and actions have an effect.” Price also said the State Department continues to “examine entities involved in potentially sanctionable activities,” noting that “sanctions are just one” of many of the tools available in response to Nord Stream 2.
Russia’s Gazprom Group and its Western partners are rushing to build the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will supply Russian natural gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea, and hope to complete it this year. Instead, US President Joe Biden believes this is a “bad deal” for Europe. Several US lawmakers and officials say the pipeline would increase Russia’s political and economic influence over Europe.