US Waives Sanctions on Russian Pipeline

The State Department reportedly plans to exclude the company running the controversial project from sanctions.

Tugboats get into position on the Russian pipe-laying vessel 'Fortuna' in the port of Wismar, Germany, Jan. 14, 2021.
Tugboats get into position on the Russian pipe-laying vessel "Fortuna" in the port of Wismar, Germany, Jan. 14, 2021.
Jens Buettner/dpa via AP

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s foreign minister on Wednesday welcomed the Biden administration’s decision to waive sanctions against entities and individuals involved in a controversial Russian pipeline, describing the move as “constructive.”

The United States has long opposed the project, which brings natural gas from Russia to Germany. They have argued that it threatens European energy security and hurts allies such as Poland and Ukraine because it bypasses their territory.

American news site Axios reported Tuesday that the U.S. State Department’s latest regular report to Congress will list sanctions for several Russian ships but not the company running the project, Nord Stream 2 AG, or its chief executive.

“We perceive this to be a constructive step,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters in Berlin.

Maas said Germany would discuss with Washington what further steps are necessary to ensure that the waiver remains in place when the next report is due in three months.

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