Trump Says He's Considering Sanctions Against Nord Stream 2

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump

Workers are seen through a pipe at the construction site of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, near the town of Kingisepp, Leningrad region, Russia, June 5, 2019.

The US administration is considering the possibility of using unilateral sanctions against participants of the Nord Stream 2 project, though it admits that the participating countries are free to build the pipeline, President Donald Trump told reporters during the talks with the Polish leader Andrzej Duda on Wednesday.

Asked whether the United States plans to impose restrictions against the participants of the Nord Stream 2 project, Trump said that Washington is considering the option. It will go through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of five countries - Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, thus bypassing transit countries of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other Eastern European and Baltic states. Despite Washington's threats to sanction those involved in the project, it has already attracted more than 670 firms from 25 countries.

Now, Reuters quoted Trump as saying the pipeline project would make Germany "a hostage of Russian Federation if things ever happen that were bad".

Perry has visited Europe to promote USA exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to help it diversify its sources of natural gas beyond Russian Federation, which has occasionally stopped shipments of gas via Ukraine during times of pricing disputes. So far, Berlin has been shrugging off the criticism, stressing that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would only contribute to the diversity of the gas supply to Europe.

The US has been gradually boosting LNG shipments to Europe, which have been up 272 percent since last July.

Earlier on Wednesday at the White House, Polish Oil and Gas Company (PGNiG) signed a deal to purchase 1.5 million metric tons of LNG per year from USA company Venture Global LNG starting in 2023, bringing its total planned purchases from the company to 3.5 million metric tons per year. "It's a tremendous amount of their energy that will be supplied by that pipeline", Trump said. Poland also signed an agreement with US officials on civilian nuclear power cooperation.

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