Since its announcement in 2015, Russia’s proposed Nord Stream Two natural gas pipeline has remained the infrastructure project posing the largest single threat to the energy and national security of the European Union and Ukraine. The year 2019 witnessed the culmination of years of growing diplomatic opposition to the pipeline and resulted in two tangible actions taken by the Transatlantic community to respond to the national security challenge of the project. First, the European Union passed an update to the Gas Directive of its largest energy market liberalization regulatory framework, the EU Third Energy Package, which will impede Gazprom’s ability to operate the pipeline according to its standard monopolistic practices. The second move was a limited, technology-calibrated sanctions action taken by the United States within its 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, targeting firms providing vessels and technologies required to complete Nord Stream Two.
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