U.S. Escalates Pressure Over Nord Stream 2, Welt am Sonntag Says

The U.S. is increasing diplomatic pressure on European contractors to drop out of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, Welt am Sonntag reported.

A dozen U.S. officials from three government departments held one-on-one video conferences in recent days with European contractors to underline their aim to stop the pipeline from Russia to Germany, the German newspaper said, without citing anyone.

The almost 10 billion-euro ($11.7 billion) Nord Stream 2 project is being financed by companies including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Germany’s Uniper SE, Wintershall AG and France’s Engie SA. Allseas Group SA is helping to expand the TurkStream link.

Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream were singled out in updated U.S. government guidance issued last week on rules limiting business with Russia. The guidance broadens the scope of possible sanctions by spelling out that they could be more widely applied than previously understood.

“Get out now or risk the consequences,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on July 15, referring to the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.

Russia will develop a new strategy for completion of the project if the U.S. imposes further sanctions on the planned pipeline, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.

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