German authorities are disappointed with the U.S. decision to impose sanctions on the Russian pipelayer Fortuna, involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2.
“We take note of this with regret,” a representative of the German Ministry of Economics told the German news agency DPA.
The agency adds that the U.S. embassy in Berlin informed the German government on Monday of plans to impose restrictive measures.
Earlier, the newspaper Handelsblatt reported that on Tuesday, Washington plans to impose sanctions against Fortuna and the company KVT-Rus, the owner of the ship. According to the newspaper, US authorities also warned other European partners about their decision to impose sanctions under CAATSA (the Countering America’s Adversaries by Sanctions Act). The German authorities consider these measures illegal.
“Nord Stream 2” involves the construction of two strings of a gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea to Germany. The project is actively opposed by the United States, which promotes its liquefied natural gas to the EU, as well as Ukraine and several European countries. The U.S. imposed sanctions against the pipeline in December 2019, forcing Switzerland’s Allseas to halt the laying.
It continued a year later — in December 2020, the Fortuna pipelayer conducted 2.6 kilometers of pipes in German waters. According to Nord Stream 2 AG (project operator), approximately 148 kilometers of the pipeline was left unfinished out of the total length of its two strings of 2,460 kilometers — 120 kilometers remain to be laid in Danish waters and about 28 kilometers — in German waters. It has been agreed with the Danish authorities that the pipes can be laid with the Fortuna from January 15; the German permit for this ship will be valid until the end of May.