US Designates Russian Pipe-Laying Vessel, Owner - Treasury
WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 23rd February, 2021) The US Treasury on Monday added Russia's Fortuna pipe-laying vessel and its owner KVT-RUS to yet another sanction regime intended to prevent the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas-exporting rout.
Both the Russian-flagged vessel and the company were designated under Protecting Europe's Energy Security Act (PEESA) in addition to Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) used against them earlier, according to a Treasury statement.
Nord Stream 2, a planned 745-mile-long twin pipeline that will carry nearly 2 trillion cubic feet of gas annually from Russia to Germany, is subject to US pressure, as Washington is viewing it as a threat to the energy security of Europe and Ukraine.
The White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday that US President Joe Biden remains adamant in its opposition to the project and contemplates both sanctions and a dialogue with European allies in an attempt to stop it.
"President Biden's view remains that Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal.
It's a bad deal because it divides Europe, it exposes Ukraine and Central Europe to Russian manipulations and because it goes against Europe's own stated energy and security bills, which I think is a shared concern," she said during a press briefing.
She said the US is continuing to monitor activity to complete or to certify the pipeline and if such activity takes place will make a determination on applicability of sanctions.
"And sanctions are only one of many important tools to ensure energy security. We are also going to work with our allies and partners to reinforce European energy security to safeguard against the sort of predatory behavior we have warned against," Psaki added.
Last week, the Handelsblatt reported that the United States is already in talks with Germany on the future of the project offering it to devise a "stoppage mechanism" for Nord Stream 2 in the event of violations of human rights by Russia and to reinforce guarantees to Ukraine that it will remain a supplier of energy resources to the European Union.