While it’s the Trump administration’s new punitive measures targeting China which have been driving headlines, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also signaled new measures related to the controversial Russia-Germany Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said a sanctions exemption will be removed for a Russian natural-gas pipeline to Germany, paving the way for new penalties to be imposed on the contentious project,” The Wall Street Journal described of his comments.
“Mr. Pompeo said Wednesday that the State Department will lift a proviso that spared the pipeline, known as Nord Stream 2, from a 2017 sanctions measure,” the report added.
Already the major companies laying the massive NS2 pipeline and their executives have been threatened with sanction as of last year, which temporarily halted construction. From there Russia vowed to outfit pipe-laying ships and fill in the gap via its energy giant Gazprom.
The newly announced measures will allow a wider range of punishment options against companies working on the pipeline as it nears completion, which Washington has long been trying to thwart.
“Our expectation is that those who participate in the continued project will be subject to review for potential consequences,” Pompeo announced.
“It’s a clear warning to companies aiding and abetting Russia’s malign-influence projects it will not be tolerated,” Pompeo said.
“Get out now, or risk the consequences,” he warned.
Pompeo’s Wednesday statement further targeted a separate Russian natural gas project, specifically through Turkey.
The statement mentioned Turkstream pipelines as putting companies “at risk” of sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.