On Wednesday, President Biden announced that he is sanctioning the owner of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline that connects Russia and Germany in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recognition of the Donbas republics.
The sanctions will target Nord Stream 2 AG, the company that’s running the pipeline project, and its CEO. In 2021, Biden decided not to target Nord Stream 2 AG with sanctions despite intense pressure from Congress.
“Today, I have directed my administration to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its corporate officers. These steps are another piece of our initial tranche of sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine,” Biden said in a statement.
The construction of Nord Stream 2 is already completed, and the pipeline is worth about $11 billion. On Tuesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the suspension of the certification process for Nord Stream 2.
Ukraine stands to lose billions in transportation fees if Nord Stream 2 is ever operational and welcomed Scholz’s decision. For their part, Russia said it “regrets” the decision and hopes the suspension is only temporary.
Biden announced Tuesday sanctions targeting two Russian banks, the country’s sovereign debt, and Russia’s “elites” and their families. Many of the US’s allies also slapped sanctions on Russia, including the EU, the UK, Japan, Australia, and Canada.
The US has labeled Putin’s moves the “beginning of an invasion” of Ukraine. Putin ordered the Russian military to send “peacekeepers” to the Donbas, but he said Tuesday that the deployment hasn’t started yet. On Wednesday, the separatists formally asked Russia for military assistance against Ukraine.