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Washington To Punish Builders Of Putin’s Gas Pipeline

The Times

The US is drawing up a list of sanctions to punish the German and Russian companies involved in building an undersea gas pipeline beneath the Baltic that Washington characterises as a geopolitical tool of the Kremlin.

Most of Germany’s allies, including Britain, France and Poland, oppose the €11 billion Nord Stream 2 project because they fear it will increase Europe’s dependence on Russian energy and starve Ukraine of the funds it derives from its own pipeline.

The scheme will add two extra conduits to an existing pair that run some 750 miles from Vyborg, on the west coast of Russia, to Greifswald in Germany, doubling their capacity.

Gazprom, the Russian gas company, upped the stakes this week by raising the prospect of laying a third set of pipelines along a similar route.

The US, which hopes to increase its own natural gas sales to Europe, has been ratcheting up the pressure on Berlin since President Trump claimed last year that Nord Stream 2 would make Germany a “captive of Russia”.

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