US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has threatened companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany and the TurkStream pipeline project stretching from Russia to Turkey across the Black Sea.
“Today, the Department of State is updating the public guidance for CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) authorities to include Nord Stream 2 and the second line of TurkStream 2,” Pompeo was quoted by the Xinhua news agency as saying at a press briefing on Wednesday.
“This action puts investments or other activities that are related to these Russian energy export pipelines at risk of US sanctions,” he added.
Pompeo said that the two projects are not commercial but serve as Moscow’s tools to exploit European dependence on Russia’s energy supplies that ultimately undermine transatlantic security.
“Companies aiding and abetting Russia’s malign influence projects will not be tolerated,” he noted.
“Get out now or risk the consequences.”
President Donald Trump has long voiced his discontentment about the Nord Stream 2 project, complaining about Germany’s large payment to Russia on energy and “delinquency” on military spending.
The Nord Stream 2, stretching 1,230 km from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea, is scheduled to start operation in the middle of 2020.
Meanwhile, the TurkStream, which was inaugurated in January, will provide gas to Turkey and the south and southeast Europe in two parallel pipelines, running 930 km through the Black Sea, from the Russian city of Anapa to the northwestern Turkish town of Kiyikoy in the Trace region.
One pipeline will supply gas to Turkey, and the other will reach the Turkish-European border to carry the gas first to Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.
TurkStream will deliver a total of 31.5 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas each year, with Turkey receiving half of it and Europe, the rest.