Washington and Berlin face off again over Nord Stream 2 as European ships are targeted.
In the latest uptick of trans-Atlantic tensions, European ships involved in the construction of a controversial gas pipeline from Russia to Germany could be subject to U.S. sanctions under a new bipartisan bill that will be introduced in the U.S. Senate as early as Monday.
The bill, sponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz, a Republican, and Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, would sanction companies involved in laying deep-sea pipelines for Russian energy projects, taking direct aim at the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which has emerged as a major source of tension between the United States and Germany. Foreign Policy obtained a draft copy of the bill.
Critics say the Nord Stream 2 project, which would double the amount of Russian gas piped to Germany via the Baltic Sea, makes little commercial sense and is a geopolitical power play by Moscow to exert energy leverage over Western Europe. Countries such as Poland and the Baltic states have joined the United States in opposing the pipeline. They also warn it could destabilize Ukraine as it wages war against Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country. Despite the conflict, the Ukrainian government relies heavily for revenue on transit fees for Russian gas going into Europe.
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