The Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea between Russia and Germany has been controversial since its inception in 2011. Environmentalists opposed it as increasing European dependence on fossil fuels at a time when policy makers were supposed to be transitioning their economies to be powered by bird choppers, black panels staring at the perennially cloudy skies, and unicorn flatulence. Geopolitical strategists warned it would increase Western Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas, and provide Russia a lever by which to threaten countries that opposed its policies. The pipeline was subject to sanctions by the United States, which were lifted in May 2021, with subsequent efforts to reimpose them by Congress.
With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Germany suspended certification of the pipeline and the U.S. re-imposed sanctions on the project. Nord Stream 2 AG, the Swiss subsidiary of Russian company Gazprom that operates the pipeline, laid off all of its employees and ceased operations. The pipeline remains idle, and it is unclear whether it will ever be used or the estimated EUR 10 billion investment written off in its entirety.
Technically, that should read "Environmentalists, who were shutting down nuclear power plants to increase European Dependence on fossil fuels, opposed it as increasing "… Oh! Never Mind!
The smart money at the time was whispering that Nord Stream I and II were not aimed at increasing Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels – rather, they were aimed at reducing Russian dependence on pipelines which crossed the rather unfriendly Biden-family Duchy of the Ukraine.
Can anyone educate me on how the US puts sanctions on something like this? Russia selling oil or gas to Germany is sanctioned by the US. Are sanctions just a nasty note of disapproval? Or is it the US citizens cannot provide funding for the project? Seems like big tawk with no real meaning other than against a US citizen. Maybe these bullshit sanctions should be properly described as the US government sanctions US citizens ability to invest their money in xyz.
Maybe someone can square me away.
As Jim Rogers says “the Chinese can invest. The British can invest. I cannot invest because I am a citizen of the home of the free.”
Here are three documents intended to explain the original round of sanctions which were imposed by the Trump administration in 2017 and then extended in 2020.
Basically, the “sanctions” are “advisory”, which means they enable, but do not require, the president “to impose sanctions on “a person” that “knowingly” invests in Russian energy export pipelines, or that sells Russia goods, technology or services for such pipelines where certain monetary thresholds are met.” This is essentially a threat which increases the risk to any U.S. party who does business with an entity that is associated with the pipeline project, deterring them from doing so. I do not know if any actual sanctions were imposed pursuant to this.
To me, this looks like, as they say in Texas, “all hat and no cattle”.
Coincidentally I just listened to Doug Casey’s Take with guest Peter Cavelti. Peter discusses the sanctions. He mentioned something I had not known. “One of the most offensive examples of sanctions abuse was the 2020 decision to target the Chief Prosecutor and several members of the International Criminal Court, after they decided to probe U.S. war crimes committed in Afghanistan.”