President Donald Trump signed US sanctions against companies that build a pipeline between Russia and Germany, which according to Congress could give the Kremlin a dangerous influence on European allies.
The sanctions, which the European Union opposes, were included in an extensive defense expenditure bill for fiscal year 2020 and reaches companies that build the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea.
The work, of almost 11,000 million dollars, aims to double deliveries of Russian natural gas to the main economy of Europe, Germany.RELATED
The pipeline, which is almost complete, passes under the Baltic Sea, eluding Ukraine.
The sanctions are framed in a bill of annual financing of the Pentagon much wider by 738,000 million.
The US measures angered Moscow and the European Union, which says it should be able to decide its own energy policies.
In an exchange on Friday with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated his "strong opposition" to the construction of Nord Stream 2.
Moscow, for its part, has clearly indicated that it will carry out this project despite the sanctions announced, which include the freezing of assets and the revocation of US visas for entrepreneurs linked to the pipeline.
The companies involved
The State Department must now communicate the names of companies and interested persons within 60 days.
Half of the project is funded by Gazprom and the other by five European companies (OMV, Wintershall Dea, Engie, Uniper and Shell).
Since its inception, many obstacles have stood in the way of this project.
Nord Stream 2 only obtained the green light of Denmark at the end of October to cross its waters, which will probably delay its entry into service, initially scheduled for the end of 2019.
One of the main targets is Allseas, based in Switzerland and hired by the Russian state energy giant Gazprom to build the section on the high seas.
After the signing of the sanctions, Allseas announced in a statement the suspension of work.
Gazprom's power is at the center of the United States' concerns about the pipeline, and also of the countries of Eastern and Central Europe.