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Lavrov calls sanctions against Nord Stream 2 "blatant example" of Western actions

Th top diplomat stressed that Russia responded to such unfriendly steps in a considered, adequate manner

MOSCOW, November 23. /TASS/. The sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 project are a blatant example of unilateral and politically motivated restrictions by Western countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday. He was speaking at a forum sponsored by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.

"It has become a sign of the times for many years already that a number of Western states, most Western states, actually, led by the Americans, use politically motivated, unilateral restrictions, which are introduced for everything: with or without a reason, as they say. And, of course, a blatant example here is what they are doing with Nord Stream 2," Lavrov said.

Considering this, the Russian companies are now working "in very difficult conditions," he noted.

"For our part, we respond to such unfriendly steps in a considered, adequate manner. We are guided by the tasks of maintaining the stability of the domestic economy and financial system," Lavrov stressed.

At the same time Russia offers its own positive agenda "to ensure equal interaction and the balance of interests in international economic relations without any discrimination," the top diplomat added.

On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the Department of State had submitted a report to Congress pursuant to the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of 2019 (PEESA) for a possible introduction of sanctions against Nord Stream 2.

The report lists two vessels and one Russia-linked entity, Transadria Ltd., involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Transadria Ltd. will be sanctioned under PEESA, and its vessel, the Marlin, will be identified as blocked property, he said.

The construction of Nord Stream 2 was fully completed on September 10, 2021. Initially it was to be finished by the end of 2019, but was delayed due to US sanctions. The gas line consists of two strings with a total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters per year from the Russian coast across the Baltic Sea to Germany.

Before pumping can commence, the operator of the project should be registered as an independent transport operator - the Federal grid agency is to issue certification by January 8, 2022. The agency cannot prohibit commercial gas pumping, but if it starts before the registration is finalized the operator will be fined. This registration is obligatory for meeting the norms of the EU Gas Directive.