The second gas pipeline project on the Nord Stream line again opposes a number of global leaders. While Germany and Russia are increasingly close to understanding of key infrastructure, the United States has used the occasion again to criticise Berlin’s position and raise the debate on the obligations of NATO membership.

At the moment, the original line is the longest undersea route for export of gas in the world. However, due to the constraints that the European Union imposes on Gazprom, only 22.5 billion cubic metres of its capacity is actually used. For this purpose, hard work takes places on a second pipeline. During their meeting in Germany Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have given significant part of the time spent to the project. The two reiterated the extremely commercial nature and the competitive advantage of this project. They stress that it is not right in any way to politicise this initiative.

At the same time, it became clear that US President Donald Trump’s administration completed a package of sanctions against companies involved in the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. The measures can be introduced within a few weeks and it remains to be decided whether these sanctions will be imposed only on companies that will construct the pipeline in the Baltic Sea or also cover banks and other companies financing the pipeline. In addition to the Russian Gazprom, the project is also developed by the French Engie, Austrian OMV AG, Royal Dutch Shell and German Uniper and Wintershall.

The US will notify the EU in advance of the implementation of sanctions and their volume.

In July, President Trump announced as “unacceptable” the fact that Germany pays billions for Russian gas and plans to construct “Nord Stream” 2 while at the same time the United States must defend it as an allies within NATO and spend much more on defence than Berlin does.

The US rejects the project because they believe it will increase Europe’s dependence on gas supplies from Russia. Washington is also worried that the construction of the pipeline can deliver possibilities for Russia to install underwater surveillance equipment in the Baltic Sea.

The Nord Stream project is a gas pipeline with a capacity of 55 billion cubic metres per year from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. It is estimated to cost 9.5 billion euros and its launch is expected by the end of 2019.