Germany’s ‘malign’ Nord Stream 2 problem won’t go away,

Gazprom’s Russia-to-Germany pipeline under the Baltic Sea is threatening to erupt into a geopolitical storm just as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden takes office. On Monday, the German economy ministry said it had been informed by the U.S. of plans to impose sanctions as of Tuesday on the Russian pipelaying ship finishing the final sections of the pipeline. The ministry was “taking note of the announcement with regret,” a spokesperson said.

Nord Stream 2 has secured permission from both Germany and Denmark to finish construction of the last 75 kilometers of the 1,200-kilometer route. […]

The U.S. State Department has been spreading the word. ”We can confirm that the Department has been reaching out to companies to update them on the passage of additional mandatory sanctions … and the sanctions risk of continued association with the NS2 project,” a spokesperson said via email, adding: ”Those who are aiding and abetting this Russian malign influence project must get out now or face the consequences.”[…]

Berlin’s careful stance is unlikely to change after Germany’s governing Christian Democratic Union party on Saturday elected a new leader, Armin Laschet, who favors maintaining ties with Russia and currently leads the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, home to Germany’s energy giants RWE, E.ON and Uniper. Läs artikel