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Sanctions against Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream come into force - US Treasury

These sanctions included in the military budget for the 2020 fiscal year signed by US President Donald Trump

WASHINGTON, December 21. /TASS/. Sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream gas pipelines, included in the military budget for the 2020 fiscal year signed by US President Donald Trump (began on October 1), came into force, the US Treasury wrote on Friday.

Thus, after the president signed on December 20, 2019, provisions of section 7503 of the military budget take effect immediately.

According to the department, in order to comply with the US sanctions regime, parties that intentionally sold, leased or provided vessels participating in the laying of pipes at a depth of 100 feet and more as part of the construction of the Nord Stream - 2 and TurkStream gas pipelines, should ensure that these vessels immediately cease construction activities.

At the same time, justified exceptions are possible to ensure safety of the pipeline itself, crews of ships and other people, as well as to preventing environmental damage or other significant damage.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that US sanctions against Nord Stream 2 violate international law and present a perfect example of unfair competition. "Such actions [possible US sanctions] are a direct violation of international law, they present an ideal example of unfair competition and spread their artificial dominance in European markets, imposing more expensive and uncompetitive products on European consumers - more expensive natural gas," he told reporters.

In his opinion, "neither Moscow, nor the European capitals, Berlin or Paris like such actions".

Peskov added that the US’ sanctions will not suspend the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. "We assume that the project (Nord Stream 2) will be completed," he said when asked whether the US’ potential sanctions might suspend the creation of the gas pipeline.

The United States Senate approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) specifying the annual budget and expenditures of the US Department of Defense for 2020 fiscal year (started on October 1), which obliges the administration to impose sanctions on the Russian Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipelines. Earlier, on December 11, the House of Representatives voted for the document.

The Nord Stream 2 project involves construction of two lines with a total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters of gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. Gazprom’s European partners in the project are German Uniper and Wintershall, Austrian OMV, French Engie and Anglo-Dutch Shell. The pipeline bypasses transit states - Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, and other East European and Baltic countries - through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany.