US FY 2021 NDAA Includes Threat of More Illegal Sanctions on Russia's Nord Stream 2 Pipeline
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman
The US under both right wings of the one-party state is waging a long war on Russia by other means — and all other nations unwilling to bow and scape to its imperial demands.
US aggression includes endless smashing of Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and at times Iraq.
US war by other means rages endlessly against China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Somalia, and all the above-named countries.
Thats how the scourge of imperial lawlessness operates.
That's what the US is all about no matter who runs things.
That's why the country is unsafe and unfit to live in, its ruling regimes waging war on humanity at home and abroad.
Why don't Russia and China because of their prominence on the world stage refuse to deal with a nation seeking their demise?
Why do they maintain diplomatic relations with US regimes going all out to undermine them politically, economically, technologically and militarily?
Trump is a geopolitical know-nothing — surrounded by hardliners Hermann Goring, Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler, and the guy with the mustache would have been proud to call allies.
Diplomatic outreach to their modern-day US counterparts achieves betrayal every time — why trying to foster cooperative relations consistently fails.
The US considers the above-named countries mortal enemies, wanting their sovereignty replaced by servitude to a higher power in Washington.
One of many examples of US war on Russia by other means is its all-out efforts to undermine completion of its Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany — a diabolical scheme doomed to fail but it continues anyway.
Amendments to House and Senate versions of the US FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) include more sanctions that aim to sabotage the pipeline's completion.
They aim to deter European banks from financial involvement in its construction.
They threaten other entities with sanctions for providing services or facilities for vessels that engage in pipe-laying for both Nord Stream 2 beneath the Baltic Sea to Germany and TurkStream's extension across the Black Sea to Turkey.
Both pipelines will supply low-cost Russian natural gas to these and other European countries.
When completed, Nord Stream 2 — the world's longest underway pipeline — will be able to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year, 110 cubic meters of gas annually together with the initial Nord Stream pipeline.
Turkstream will annually be able to deliver 31.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas — 15.75 billion cubic meters "per each of the two strings," Gazprom explained.
Completion is expected in January. Yet the Trump regime and Congress aim to halt the progress of both pipelines by the threat of sanctions on entities and individuals involved in its construction.
The same scheme applies to successor projects if undertaken.
NDAA legislation calls for sanctions on enterprises, organizations, and individuals the secretary of state declares have knowingly:
Provided underwriting services or insurance or reinsurance for vessels engaged in the construction of the pipeline projects.
Provided services or facilities for technology upgrades or installation of welding equipment for, or retrofitting or tethering of such vessels.
Provided services for the testing, inspection, or certification necessary for, or associated with the operation of, Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream's extension.
Section 232 of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) authorizes sanctions on entities and individuals involved in supporting Russian energy pipelines.
In October 2017, the State Department applied Section 232 to Russian energy pipeline projects agreed to on or after August 2, 2017.
Since July 2020, the Trump regime applied Section 232 to Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream.
Under the provision, US sanctions will not be imposed on entities and individuals involved in their construction prior to July 2020 if steps are taken to end their operations as soon as possible.
On Friday, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that Russia will do "everything possible to protect its interests and the interests of its commercial projects," adding:
This applies "to all the other sanction aspirations of the US side."
"In the context of Nord Stream 2, we see this as nothing but a manifestation of the unfair competition."
"Of course, we firmly believe that these steps contradict the principles of international trade and even international law."
A Final Comment
The European Commission criticized Trump regime sanctions on Nord Stream 2 and intention to expand them.
A bloc plan to strengthen the "economic and financial sovereignty of Europe" is being prepared.
Whether this step will be significant is unclear. Most often, Brussels bends to Washington's will. Whether this time is different is for the bloc to prove.
According to head of Germany's Bundestag Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy, Klaus Ernst:
"(T)he US now wants to exempt European governments and their bodies from (Nord Stream 2) sanctions."
In further talks with Washington on this issue, Berlin must "unambiguously indicate…that the sovereignty of Germany and the EU are not up for discussion."
Actions by Brussels and bloc countries need to follow the above rhetoric.
Otherwise what's said is meaningless.
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
"How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War"
"Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity"