US Broadens NS 2 Sanctions
The US on October 20 broadened its sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 (NS 2) pipeline project to bring Russian gas to Europe, extending its ability to impose penalties not only to vessels engaged in laying pipe for the project but also to anyone determined to be helping with the operation of those vessels.
NS 2 is nearly complete, with only about 100 km of pipe yet to be laid in Danish waters of the Baltic Sea to finish the job. Two Gazprom-owned vessels have been brought in, but so far, little work seems to be getting done.
In a public guidance document related to the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act (PEESA) of 2019, the US State Department says Section 7503(a)(1)(B) may cover “foreign firms or persons who provide certain services or goods” that are essential to the ongoing operation of the pipelaying vessels covered by the first set of sanctions introduced in late 2019.
“Such activities subject to sanctions pursuant to PEESA or other authorities may include, but are not limited to, providing services or facilities for upgrades or installation of equipment for those vessels, or funding for upgrades or installation of equipment for those vessels,” the state department said in the guidance document. Services to the vessels required for the safety and care of the crew will not be subject to sanctions.
Any companies covered by the broadened sanctions have 30 days from October 20 to wind down their participation in the projects, the guidance document said.