The United States is taking punitive measures against the construction of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The Senate voted by a clear majority for the new defense budget, which includes sanctions against companies and individuals involved in the Nord Stream 2 project.
The US House of Representatives had already passed the sanctions last week. They have yet to be signed by US President Donald Trump.
The senators voted with a majority of 86 to eight for the defense budget with the punitive measures. Trump is keen to put the sanctions into effect. The US president is a vehement critic of the pipeline, which is said to significantly increase the potential for Russian gas deliveries to Germany. Trump accuses Germany of being dependent on Russian gas.
The Nord Stream 2 project, led by the Russian Gazprom group, is also criticized in parts of Europe. The main fear is a weakening of alternative pipelines and traditional transit countries
Nord Stream 2 is expected to deliver gas from Russia to Germany by bypassing Poland and Ukraine from next year. To date, according to the Nord Stream 2 consortium, more than 2,100 kilometers of the double strand have been laid in the Baltic Sea, around 300 kilometers are still missing.
The US Congress wants to prevent the completion of the project. The sanctions could at least delay it. In addition, further measures by the United States could also lead to gas shortages in Germany.