) Sanctions on companies involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in retaliation for Russian military actions in eastern Ukraine.
In a statement, Biden said the sanctions affect the company responsible for the construction and operation of the pipeline, Nord Stream 2 AG, which is registered in Switzerland.
The company belongs to Gazprom, Russian giant in the energy sector, and therefore the measure is aimed at it.
The US has opposed the construction of Nord Stream 2 for years on the grounds that it would increase Europe’s dependence on Russian gas, but last year Biden agreed to have the pipeline completed by lifting sanctions that returned to apply this Wednesday.
The measure was taken one day after the chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, to announce the suspension of the pipeline certification process, which was completed last year, in response to Russia’s recognition of the independence of the self-proclaimed breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine.
Biden also made a veiled attack against Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that his latest decisions gave the world “an overwhelming incentive” to stop importing gas, oil and other forms of energy from the country, which represent a large part of the Kremlin’s income.
23175055Nord Stream 2, 1.768 km, was built with the aim of transporting Russian gas directly to Germany without passing through Ukraine, which deprived the country of an important source of income, as it charged Russia a fee for let the gas pass through its territory.
Moscow chose to build the Nord Stream 2 after c so-called “gas wars” of 2006 and 2009, in which disagreements between Russia and Ukraine – then the main route for Russian gas – led to supply cuts and higher energy prices in Europe.
23175055Biden already announced on Tuesday a first package of sanctions against Russia, targeting two financial institutions, Moscow’s sovereign debt and Russian elites and their families.