Sanctions aimed at blocking the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea, were included by United States lawmakers in a must-pass defense bill.
The sanctions are intended to halt the construction of the pipeline project of the Russian energy company Gazprom PJSC, and would apply to companies building the pipeline. Vessels that lay the pipeline and executives from companies linked to those vessels, could be denied visas and have their transactions blocked.
The measure is modeled after a bill introduced earlier this year by two key lawmakers, Senators Ted Cruz and Jeanne Shaheen. They have pushed for the sanctions as a response to President Donald Trump’s indecisiveness whether to block the project.
“It’s a problem that Germany is going to have to work out for themselves. And maybe for Germany it won’t be a problem. I hope it’s not, actually”, Trump said at a press conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel on 4 December.
The Nord Stream 2 project has divided the European Union, as the completion of the pipeline would tighten Gazprom’s grip on the region.
The bill is expected to pass this month, before Congress takes leave for the holidays.