US Threatens Sanctions For European Firms Participating In Russian Gas Pipeline Project

As previewed overnight, the U.S. State Department is warning European corporations that they will likely face penalties if they participate in the construction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, on the grounds that "the project undermines energy security in Europe", when in reality Russia has for decades been a quasi-monopolist on European energy supplies and thus has unprecedented leverage over European politics, at least behind the scenes.

As many people know, we oppose the Nord Stream 2 project, the US government does,” said State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert at a Tuesday press briefing. “We believe that the Nord Stream 2 project would undermine Europe's overall energy security and stability. It would provide Russia [with] another tool to pressure European countries, especially countries such as Ukraine.”

And speaking of Ukraine, recall that in 2014, shortly after the US State Department facilitated the presidential coup in Ukraine, Joe Biden's son Hunter joined the board of directors of Burisma, Ukraine's largest oil and gas company. Surely that was merely a coincidence.

The project which began in 2015 is a joint venture between Russia's Gazprom and European partners, including German Uniper, Austria's OMV, France's Engie, Wintershall and the British-Dutch multinational Royal Dutch Shell. The pipeline is set to run from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea - doubling the existing pipeline's capacity of 55 cubic meters per year. 

Nauert said that Washington may introduce punitive measures against participants in the pipeline project - which could be implemented using a provision in the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

“At the State Department, we have spent a lot of time speaking with our partners and allies overseas to explain to them the ramifications of CAATSA and how an individual or a company or a country can run afoul against CAATSA and fall into sanctions," Nauert said. "We don't tend to comment on sanctions actions but we've been clear that firm steps against the Russian energy export pipeline sector could – if they engage in that kind of business – they could expose themselves to sanctions under CAATSA.” 

Several EU nations, particularly Germany, have repeatedly expressed interest in participating in Nord Stream 2, however the pipeline has been opposed by several minor bloc nations, including Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Hungary. Ukrainian authorities are also staunchly against the project, as it bypasses Ukraine and would impact them monetarily. 

Of note, CAATSA - approved last Summer, was recently used by the U.S. Treasury Department to impose penalties against 19 Russian individuals and five Russian entities, including Russia's Federal Security Service and the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) for their alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential race. 

***

As Alex Gorka of the Strategic Culture Foundation wrote, on March 15, a bipartisan group of 39 senators led by John Barrasso (R-WY) sent a letter to the Treasury Department. 

They oppose NS2 and are calling on the administration to bury it. Why? They don’t want Russia to be in a position to influence Europe, which would be “detrimental,” as they put it. Their preferred tool to implement this obstructionist policy is the use of sanctions. Thirty-nine out of 100 is a number no president can ignore. Powerful pressure is being put on the administration. Even before the senators wrote their letter, Kurt Volker, the US envoy to Ukraine, had claimed that NS2 was a purely political, not commercial, project.

No doubt other steps to ratchet up the pressure on Europe will follow.

Comments

Haus-Targaryen Thu, 03/22/2018 - 02:49 Permalink

This outcome is easy to predict.  

.eu based firms pull their support for the project, and the project gets finished by Russian firms. 

However, building pipelines is a unique skill, and when these euro firms cease NS2 operations and Russian firms pick-up where they left off -- many of these Russian firms will simply hire the teams from the .eu firms to finish the job they themselves started.  They will, of course, transfer "know how" to Russia which Russia might not have been able to get its hands on otherwise. 

Then again, the Russians know how to build a pipe. 

I love how Uncle Sam always finds a way to not only fuck themselves but their "trusted European friends and allies" with essentially every foreign policy decision made. 

two hoots slopz38 Thu, 03/22/2018 - 07:48 Permalink

This could have something to do with it, seems there is most always a connection to this little country?  Maybe we can cut foreign aid as they become wealthy?:

“The European Union (EU) will fund the detailed planning for laying a natural gas pipeline from Israel's Leviathan offshore gas reservoir to Europe.”  http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-eu-to-fund-planning-of-pipeline-from…

“By 2019, Israel’s large Leviathan natural gas field is expected to transform a once resource-poor developing economy into major energy exporter.”  https://www.jns.org/pipeline-puzzle-who-will-consume-israels-natural-ga…

In reply to by slopz38

ZeroSpam The Blank Stare Thu, 03/22/2018 - 13:24 Permalink

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When Spammer-Tard gets back to his basement at 2 a.m. smelling like urine from his job cleaning bathrooms at Jack-in-the-Box, he jacks off and engages in conversations with himself here.

This Whackjob with Multiple Log-on's (aka "stizazz" and "lloll" "beepbop"  "Braveforce"  "PRIVETHEDGE"  "SLOPZ38"  "Schlomo Scheklestein"  "Jumanji1959"-- hopefully banned) is a CHRONIC SPAMMER whose "disguised links" ("ITS END IS NEAR", above) will take you to his Spam- and Trojan-laden webpage, fondly known by ZHers as "The Whacked Out Biblicism SPAM page" where you will be the happy recipient of numerous virus from this very disturbed and obsessed individual, spamming here for more than five years. 

ALL THE SAME SPAMMER

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Copy and send this text to abuse@zerohedge.com

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In reply to by The Blank Stare

philipat Haus-Targaryen Thu, 03/22/2018 - 03:14 Permalink

And of course the fact that the US wants to sell much more expensive LNG to Europe has absolutley nothing to do with this (another fucking of its European "allies"). And who the fuck does the US think it is sanctioning European Companies for working on a project in Europe? Why does the US believe that its laws have jurisdiction outside of US borders? Oh, of course, the "exceptional" country. I forgot....

When will Europe finally grow a pair and tell the US to go fuck itself?

In reply to by Haus-Targaryen

philipat Haus-Targaryen Thu, 03/22/2018 - 05:25 Permalink

Sad but true and yes the EU originally was a CIA construct to make it easier to govern Europe, dealing with only one set of corrupt unelected bureaucrats instead of the unpredictability of having to deal with 30+ sets of corrupt elected Governments. Hence the displeasure with Brexit, which is still being fought to reverse via a second (probably rigged this time around) referendum in true EU style.

Fortunately the collapse of both the EU AND the Empire are looking increasingly more probable by the day. Bring it on....

In reply to by Haus-Targaryen

Haus-Targaryen ProsperD9 Thu, 03/22/2018 - 04:41 Permalink

Wrong.  Germany WAS a powerhouse in Europe.  

Its currently filled with women ages 22-40 who would rather "party and go out" than settle down and have kids.  My wife got into it with one of her friends from Uni last night over this topic and the friendship is pretty much dead. 

It went like this: "I just don't understand why you had a kid ... I mean ... how do you go out partying now?!" 

My wife: "Well, we don't.  Haus-T and I go out to a nice dinner a couple times a month and really enjoy just watching our daughter getting bigger." 

Stupid: "Yeah, but that is so boring.  Don't you want to go out and go partying instead?"  I feel like you'Ve thrown your life away simply to have a kid." 

My wife: "I don't see it that way.  My daughter will be with us throughout our entire lives, she'll take care of us when we're old and give us grandkids one day, hopefully." 

Stupid: "For her sake I hope not ... I hope she doesn't have kids and just enjoys life and parties and drinks. Besides, there are so many orphans in Africa and the world has enough people.  Why don't you adopt instead?" 

My wife: "Because there is more to life than drinking and partying until you're 40." 

Stupid: "Like what?" 

My wife: "Okay so I'm going to go..." 

---

Regrettably "stupid" is a medical doctor.  Yeah, feminism has done a number on German society.  Perhaps the Muzzies are actually onto something ... 

In reply to by ProsperD9

philipat Haus-Targaryen Thu, 03/22/2018 - 05:29 Permalink

We have a lot of young Germans staying in our Villas in Bali and they are usually very nice people. But the indoctrination and propaganda in Germany seems to have converted them all into Libtard robots. Whenever we get onto the subject of "the invasion" the response is always that Germany needs the labor and as a big country is needs to do its share to help out the "refugees". And Merkel, by default or otherwise, is still in control.

But of course, Europeans are not allowed to express such thoughts openly (In an Empire of lies....etc) and the UK is actually preventing entry for those who have expressed any resistance to the (Globalist) agenda.

I don't understand what it takes for the German (And European) people to see that their freedom of speech, borders, countries and cultures are being systematically destroyed by the Globalist agenda.

In reply to by Haus-Targaryen

commoncourtesy DuckDog Thu, 03/22/2018 - 08:07 Permalink

You are correct, it is worldwide.

I am working on a similar venture here in England, but the truth is, no matter where you go, the world has a way of catching up with you, wherever you are. In the meantime don't wish your current life away. You can definitely make a difference in the world around you  and who knows if you give some kindness and respect to some of those Canadian ladies, you might be surprised what comes back.

For the sake of our next generation, sooner or later this CONTROL THING is going to have to be confronted across the globe. 

In reply to by DuckDog

Sandmann Haus-Targaryen Thu, 03/22/2018 - 03:49 Permalink

Not really. Italian companies have huge contracts for OCTG and BASF is not going to let Wintershall be screwed. The US is simply behaving like Sauron. It tells Russia it cannot export S-400 AD systems and it tells Europe it cannot build pipelines and it tells China it cannot do whatever.

At some stage USA is going to have to be told it can Foxtrot Oscar - so far it is the Middle East that has told it but Western Europe is a little too pathetic thus far

In reply to by Haus-Targaryen

H-O-W Haus-Targaryen Thu, 03/22/2018 - 04:04 Permalink

How ya like that Average Hans, and Lars and Jean and Paolo?

How's that taste?

The USA apparently gets final say in YOUR national security matters.

Uncle Sam gets to decide who is going to deliver YOUR energy needs and at what price.

This, after flooding your continent with 3rd world migrants who are only there to take and cause problems.

So...............what ya gonna do 'bout it?

In reply to by Haus-Targaryen

luckylongshot Haus-Targaryen Thu, 03/22/2018 - 05:13 Permalink

What the article did not explain is the threat to America that needs to be countered through stopping the pipeline. Seems like this is motivated more by a desire to force the EU to buy expensive US energy than to counter any actual threat to the US. In which case the EU needs to act to prevent the US pushing it into poverty by forcing ot to buy overpriced US energy.

In reply to by Haus-Targaryen

Fireman Haus-Targaryen Thu, 03/22/2018 - 05:52 Permalink

USSA can't even get its crap into orbit without Russian rockets yet expects its vassal Europeons to go back to the stone age to appease the chosenite scum running Washing town and Pentacon Murder Inc. Funny!

The only thing sustaining the illusion of the so-called USSAN energy bonanza BS is the entire Ponzi scam swamping the Wall St sewer behind the fake "economy" of war and debt without end on Chinese credit. And then with fewer than a half a dozen LNG plants barely functioning after hurricane damage and rusting infrastructure the Europeons are supposedly going to pay triple prices to get USSAN gas shipped to Urupp instead of continuing with guaranteed problem free Russian supplies piped directly to consumers.

USSA can't even supply Mexico with LNG yet expects Europeons to bend over and pay through the nose for what USSA can't produce. The Europeons see through the lies and are ready to board the One Belt One Road Sino Russian mega global project and jump the sinking ship of USSAN fools and blow hards.

The only viable gas being produced from squeezing rocks in USSA'S "shale Miracle" is the gas coming from the corrupt hubris bloated morons in Washing town. When the Jim Willie Scheisse dollah post reset finally becomes the local currency USSANS will be lucky if they haven't maxed their credit rating to afford their Chinese stuff at the Peoples Walmart feeding kitchens let alone become the masters of global energy. In their opioid delusions perhaps.
Not even 6 plants in operation yet these clowns are going to supply the planet with ships not even built! Dream on.

https://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/u-s-become-major-lng-ex

In reply to by Haus-Targaryen

To Hell In A H… Haus-Targaryen Thu, 03/22/2018 - 05:57 Permalink

The question you must ask is, does the state of Israel ever hamper themselves in this way? The answer is no. During any Arab vs Arab war ,the Israeli's will arm their Arab enemies, they will also get into bed with the devil the Saudi's and deal with whoever will advance their interests.

But Uncle Scam and her European allies? We practice the definition of "biting off your nose, to spite your our face" The Zionists are not harmed by these deranged policies. To see when Jewish interests face harm and how fast they track back is extremely revealing.

Our intelligence agencies straight after 9/11 informed the UK and USSA governments, Bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda were using diamonds as payments, as they were easy to carry, smuggle and a small quantity was worth millions. These intelligence agencies advocated a system of tracking and tracing the diamonds.

Who do you think lobbied against it? The Jews. Despite the intelligence agencies saying this system of documentation and tracking diamonds was essential against the War On Terror, it was dropped. Surprise, surprise. We have 5th columnists and traitors in government whose goal is not of the citizens of the country they control, but of Israel.

In reply to by Haus-Targaryen

GreatUncle Haus-Targaryen Thu, 03/22/2018 - 07:10 Permalink

It could be worse.

Imagine Putin shutting down the flow of existing for a few weeks ...

Notice how all UN sanctions against Russia do not affect this?

Shows the UN is a globalist tool and if such a sanction was authorised SHTF across europe against the globalists.

So if I was Putin, I would shut it down and say ... look ypu have applied sanctions against us for no good reason so we decided to do the job for your globalists and the UN properly.

Be well fucked then.

 

In reply to by Haus-Targaryen

JohninMK GreatUncle Thu, 03/22/2018 - 13:39 Permalink

The Russians won't shut anything down that they have a contract for. They believe in the rule of law. Strange that!

What they may well do and they have said they will, is to stop transit through Ukraine in Dec 2019 when the current contract ends. This is almost certain now as the Ukrainians have just had an international tribunal in Stockholm rule in their favour, stiffing the Russians for around $2.6B. Also they have an alternative sources of revenue as a big Chinese pipeline starts up at the same time. THe Russians could quite easily just leave the gas in the ground.

Without NordStream2 significant parts of particularly central and southern Europe will then find themselves with limited gas for heating and industry.

Can you imagine the blowback at that time when the EU blames the US (never its fault of course) for this entirely avoidable disaster?

In reply to by GreatUncle

Lore Thu, 03/22/2018 - 02:54 Permalink

Here's another situation where Americans don't know when to mind their own business -- and when they don't get their way, they do stupid things.  This CAATSA is like cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.

Stupid pathocrats.