Nord Stream 2 investors await new U.S.-sanctions

WNM | Mar 24, 2019 at 12:51 AM

WASHINGTON - March 23 (WNM staff/news wires) In Washington, consultations are under way whether and if to which extend sanctions should be imposed on the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. According to sources in Washington, no decision is yet made. But World News Monitor has learned from people involved with the decision that some kind of sanctions is more likely to come than no sanctions at all.

Investors are hence waiting for a decision before they decide whether to put money in Nord Stream 2. Russian media reported, that Italian bank Intesa is considering an investment into Nord Stream 2. But a spokesman for Intesa-CEO Antonio Fallico told World News Monitor, that no decision has been made: “Only when you are certain that the project is not sanctioned, then you can consider participating in the funding. In itself, the project is economically viable”, the spokesman said.

Richard Morningstar, former US-ambassador to the EU, told World News Monitor, that sanctions “are not off the table”. However he says that it may be difficult for the U.S.-government to directly sanction the companies involved. On the other hand, Nord Stream 2 might well end as a “pipeline with no one buying from it”. Morningstar at least does not buy Angela Merkel’s argument of the “great bargain”. The German chancellor had recently said that Nord Stream 2 is only one different way of transportation, while the total of gas the EU will buy from Russia will not increase. “But why then would you have three pipelines – Nord Stream 2, Turkish Stream and the existing pipeline through the Ukraine – for the same amount of gas?”, Morningstar asks.

However, the companies involved with building Nord Stream 2 are confident that the construction of the pipeline will be finished without major delay.

Wintershall expects that Denmark will approve the application for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline route in its exclusive economic zone in the first half of 2019, Chief Executive Officer of the German oil and gas company Mario Mehren told reporters on Thursday.

“Applications were presented to authorities and the design company assumes that the decision on these applications will be made in the first half of 2019. Accordingly we will be able to build the pipeline according to the schedule, so that to receive first gas at the turn of 2019,” Mehren said on Wednesday in a press conference.

Wintershall boss says controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline expected to transport first gas by end of year

Russia and the Nord Stream 2 project in the Baltic Sea, are “indispensable” for Germany in its push to phase out coal, according to the chief