EU, UK preparing sanctions against new Russian gas projects
In light of excessive pressure from western powers over Russia's dispute with Ukraine, the European Union and the United Kingdom are threatening to sanction Russia's gas supply and projects.
According to media reports, the European Union and the United Kingdom are planning sanctions against new Russian gas projects that would be imposed in the event of a Russian "invasion" of Ukraine.
According to the Financial Times, the new set of sanctions is being developed with US assistance and will be aimed at limiting future gas project financing and technology transfer.
These sanctions, if imposed, will have an impact on European behemoths such as BP, Total, and Shell, which are investing in Russia's energy sector.
The West and Ukraine have accused Russia of concentrating troops near the Ukrainian border in preparation for an invasion in recent months. Russia has stated repeatedly that it has no intention of invading Ukraine while emphasizing that it has the right to move forces within its own territory.
UK threat over sanctions
UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that “any further military incursion into Ukraine by Russia would bring massive consequences, including coordinated sanctions."
"It's vital that NATO is united in pushing back against Russia threatening behavior," she stressed.
"Europe must reduce its dependence on Russian gas," Truss added. "Britain remains opposed to Nord Stream 2, and I'm working with allies and partners to highlight the strategic risks of this project."
Nord Stream will not proceed if Russia invades: US
When asked why Washington was so confident the Russian pipeline would not proceed, Victoria Nuland, a senior US State Department official, said the pipeline still had not been tested nor certified by German regulators.
"We will work with Germany to ensure that the pipeline does not move forward," Nuland said.
"If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward," the top US official, told reporters.
"I think the statements coming out of Berlin even today are very, very strong," she asserted.
Berlin had assured the United States that if the situation between Russia and Ukraine spirals into a conflict, the gas would not run via Nord Stream 2.
However, in reassurance to Moscow, Germany ruled out the abandonment of the project, the Bild newspaper reported.
Earlier, Washington imposed sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 project, which are pointless as the construction of the gas pipeline has been completed, according to Dmitry Birichevsky, the Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Department of Economic Cooperation.
"To be honest, we see no point in Washington's sanctions policy in conditions when the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has already been built," the diplomat said.
Birichevsky added the US actions against the project are "contrary to the interests of most European countries."
"We believe that the certification of the gas pipeline, its commissioning, and further use will be carried out based on the legal norms in force in the EU," the diplomat added.