Trump yet to decide on sanctions against Nord Stream 2

US president Donald Trump has said that that he has not yet decided whether the United States government will impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2, a Russian-built gas pipeline that will deliver gas to Germany through the Baltic Sea.

Speaking at a press conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel on December 4, Mr Trump pointed out that he saw the pipeline as a problem.

“(…) 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,” the US president told the press.

Mr Trump’s statement comes amidst increasing pressure from two key US lawmakers, Republican senator Ted Cruz and Democratic senator Jeanne Shaheen who are advocating for a US congressional provision in a defence spending bill that would sanction companies involved in the construction of the pipeline.

“I have heard no good arguments from the administration against imposing these sanctions. It makes no sense whatsoever that we’re failing to act and act swiftly. The window is nearly closed. We have maybe 60 days until this pipeline is completed,” wrote Bloomberg, quoting Mr Cruz.
The sanctions, would deny visas and block transactions or individuals regarding their US-based properties and interests, and sanction executives of companies that participate in laying the pipelines.

The completion of the new Russian pipeline, that would bypass Ukraine and therefore endanger its role as a key gas transit country for Europe, comes as Ukraine and Russia are yet to agree on a gas transit through Ukrainian pipelines from 2020.

Once completed, Nord Stream will have an annual transfer capacity of 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas.