• English posts

    Hot Issue – They’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat: The Curious Voyage of the Akademik Cherskiy

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Autor: Benjamin L. Schmitt 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…

  • English posts

    Congress to target Russian pipeline in defense bill

    HALIFAX, Canada ― Congress’s must-pass defense policy bill will be the vehicle to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin’s $11 billion project to deliver natural gas to Europe via a new pipeline from Russia to Germany, a top U.S. lawmaker revealed Friday. Sanctions on companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline have been added to the draft 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch told Defense News on the sidelines of the Halifax International Security Forum. The inclusion of the sanctions in the bill is a strong sign, but House and Senate lawmakers have yet to reach a final deal on the massive bill. Continue reading the…

  • English posts

    Three months left to kill Nord Stream 2

    Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act has received overwhelming bipartisan support and proposes targeted sanctions to halt completion of Nord Stream 2, Russia President Vladimir Putin’s natural gas pipeline designed to control Europe. But there has been a procedural delay and time is running out. The act targets sanctions against one company, Allseas, which is providing a critical deep-sea pipe-laying vessel to install Nord Stream 2 on behalf of Gazprom, and it is only three months away from finishing the job unless it is stopped. “There is emerging consensus about placing this sanctions bill in the defense budget bill called the National Defense Authorization Act,” said Daniel Vajdich, whose firm Yorktown Solutions advises…

  • English posts

    Nord Stream 2: Falling at the Last Fence?

    Thanks to interventions by Washington or Brussels, Nord Stream 2 may end up either not being completed or, once completed, find that much of the pipeline cannot in fact be used. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project has been subject to immense controversy ever since President Putin launched the project in tandem with his German business partners in June 2015. Contrary to the desires of the German government, most of the Central and Eastern European EU member states have come out against the pipeline. The EU itself has formally extended EU energy law to import pipelines such as Nord Stream 2, while the Polish authorities have launched antitrust proceedings against the project.…

  • English posts

    Finish the Fight: A Washington-Brussels Double Play Can Still Stop Nord Stream 2

    The Washington Nationals’ ubiquitous World Series victory slogan, “fight finished,” has been draped across every corner of the US capital for weeks. At the same time, a second, unfinished fight that for years has united lawmakers in both parties has hit a critical phase. On October 30, officials at the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) issued a final construction permit for the deployment of the Kremlin-conceived Nord Stream 2 pipeline within Denmark’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The Danish permit should not be viewed as a tacit approval of the project’s merits. In fact, Danish officials have been public with their concerns about the pipeline’s negative impact—especially for Ukraine’s strategic stability—and resisted the project…

  • English posts

    Senator Cruz Says U.S. Has Ability To Halt Nord Stream 2

    U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has said that the United States still has the ability to halt construction of a planned pipeline to send Russian natural gas to Germany, even as the project nears completion. Russia has said it expects to complete the 1,220-kilometer-long Nord Stream 2 project running under the Baltic Sea by the end of the year. Continue reading the article on the Radio Free Europe news website.

  • German posts

    Breiter Konsens gegen Nord Stream 2

    Der demokratische US-Senator Chris Murphy erklärt, warum sein Land Sanktionen gegen Nord Stream 2 plant – und warum ihn die Debatte in Berlin überrascht. In den USA gibt es nicht mehr viele politische Themen, bei denen sich Republikaner und Demokraten einig sind. Doch kurz vor der Sommerpause billigte der Auswärtige Ausschuss des US-Senats bei nur zwei Gegenstimmen einen Gesetzentwurf, der „Europas Energiesicherheit schützen“ soll. Dieser sieht Sanktionen gegen Firmen vor, die am Bau der Pipeline Nord Stream 2 beteiligt sind. In der Ablehnung des Projekts gebe es in den USA einen „breiten überparteilichen Konsens“, sagte der demokratische Senator von Connecticut, Chris Murphy, am Dienstag in Berlin. „Viele Republikaner und Demokranten wünschen sich,…

  • German posts

    US-Sanktionsdrohungen gefährden Nord Stream 2

    Berlin, Washington Donald Trump hat gerade eine Europareise angekündigt. Vom 31. August bis zum 3. September wird der US-Präsident Dänemark und Polen besuchen – und um Deutschland einen Bogen machen. Die besondere Botschaft, die hinter diesem Reiseprogramm steckt, ist nicht schwer zu entschlüsseln: Die US-Regierung will ein Zeichen gegen die Ostseepipeline Nord Stream 2 setzen – Dänemark und Polen gehören in Europa zu den entschiedensten Gegnern der Projekts. Continue reading the article published on the Handelsblatt new website.

  • English posts

    Senate panel backs Nord Stream 2 pipeline sanctions bill

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate committee passed a bill on Wednesday to slap sanctions on companies and individuals involved in building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany that the Trump administration says would strengthen Moscow’s economic grip on Europe. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the “Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act,” by a vote of 20 to 2. The bill, which reflects some lawmakers’ concerns over Russian influence in Europe, would still need to pass the full Senate and House of Representatives and be signed by President Donald Trump into law. Continue reading the article published on the Reuters news website.

  • English posts

    Enact US sanctions against Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline

    Contrary to some claims, a bipartisan bill proposing targeted sanctions for those involved in the construction of a Russian gas pipeline will not hit major EU energy companies. Additionally, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is not an easily deployable alternative to sanctions. All arguments deployed against Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-N.H.) sanctions bill overlook the scale of European support for action against Nord Stream 2. It is true that the German government, and certainly the Social Democratic Party, is opposed to sanctions. But they do not speak for all 28 member states of the European Union. The European Parliament already voted in December 433 to 105 in favor of canceling Nord…

  • English posts

    Not Only Geopolitics: U.S. Threatens Sanctions Over Russian Nord Stream 2 Project

    If Republicans and Democrats from the Trump administration and the U.S. Congress, which stand on different sides of the political barricade, can unite their forces, they may speak with one voice when criticizing Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 energy pipeline project. In May, bipartisan efforts were made to intensify work on sanctions targeted at entities involved in building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline running from Russia to Germany while U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry declared in Brussels and Kiev that introducing a restrictions package is just a matter of time. Continue reading the article on the Warsaw Institute news website.

  • English posts

    Sanctions bill on Nord Stream 2 coming soon: U.S. energy secretary

    KIEV (Reuters) – United States Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Tuesday that a sanctions bill putting onerous restrictions on companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 project would come in the “not too distant future”. The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project has come under fire from the United States and several eastern European, Nordic and Baltic Sea countries which fear it will increase the European Union’s reliance on Russian gas. Continue reading the article on the Reuters news website.

  • English posts

    U.S. Senate Threatens Sanctions Over Russian Pipeline

    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…

  • German posts

    Nord Stream 2: Jetzt wird Gazprom nervös

    Der Streit um die deutsch-russische Gaspipeline ist wieder voll entflammt: Der EVP-Kandidat für das Amt des EU-Kommissionspräsidenten, Manfred Weber, hat angekündigt, die Leitung blockieren zu wollen, falls er Chef der EU-Behörde werden sollte. Lange Zeit sah es so aus, als könnte nichts und niemand dieser Rohrleitung etwas anhaben: Selbst als Russland sich 2014 die Krim einverleibte, wurden die Pipeline-Pläne zwar mal kurz auf Eis gelegt, aber dann flugs wieder aufgetaut. Seitdem sind Russland wie Deutschland emsig damit beschäftigt, Röhre um Röhre auf dem Ostsee-Grund zu verlegen und damit Kilometer für Kilometer dem gemeinsamen Traum einer zweiten Energie-Hauptschlagader näherzukommen. Auch das miserable Verhältnis der EU und der NATO zu Moskau oder…

  • English posts

    Nord Stream 2 investors await new U.S.-sanctions

    WASHINGTON – March 23 (WNM staff/news wires) In Washington, consultations are under way whether and if to which extend sanctions should be imposed on the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. According to sources in Washington, no decision is yet made. But World News Monitor has learned from people involved with the decision that some kind of sanctions is more likely to come than no sanctions at all. Investors are hence waiting for a decision before they decide whether to put money in Nord Stream 2. Russian media reported, that Italian bank Intesa is considering an investment into Nord Stream 2. But a spokesman for Intesa-CEO Antonio Fallico told World…

  • English posts

    Despite sanctions, Russian tanker supplied fuel to North Korean ship-crew members

    VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Reuters) – A Russian tanker violated international trade sanctions by transferring fuel to a North Korean vessel at sea at least four times between October 2017 and May 2018, two crew members who witnessed the transfers said. Such transactions could have helped provide North Korea with an economic lifeline and eased the isolation of the secretive communist state, whose leader, Kim Jong Un, is due to meet U.S. President Donald Trump in Vietnam this week. Primportbunker, the owner of the vessel the crew members said made the transfers, did not respond to requests for comment by telephone. No one answered the door when Reuters visited the building where…

  • English posts

    State Secretary Pompeo: US will do “everything in its power” to stop Nord Stream 2 pipeline

    United State Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday in a joint press conference with Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz that the US will do everything in its power to stop Russia’s plans to build the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe, France24 reports. Pompeo said that the pipeline from Russia to Germany, on which construction began last year, would “funnel money” to Russia in a way that hurts Europe.   “So while there is certainly a commercial aspect to that kind of transaction, there is an enormous security risk that is attached to it,” Pompeo said. Nord Stream 2 would be 1,200 km long and would double…