US announces more sanctions over Russian gas pipeline

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department sought Monday to keep up pressure on Russia over that country’s U.S.-opposed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, sanctioning what the U.S. said was a Russia-linked company and ship working on the project.

The U.S. has unsuccessfully tried to slow or stop the construction of Nord Stream 2, which would carry Russian gas to Germany, fearing the added leverage that the energy project will give Russia in Europe.

Russian-controlled gas giant Gazprom owns the pipeline with investment from several European companies. The United States reached a deal with Germany, a key NATO ally, last summer to allow the pipeline’s completion without imposing U.S. sanctions on German interests involved in the project.

Monday’s move targets a business, Transadria Limited, and one of its vessels that had worked on Nord Stream.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement the Biden administration has now sanctioned eight people and 17 vessels linked to the pipeline.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the country could quickly boost natural gas supplies to the European Union once German regulators allow the new pipeline to start operation. Energy prices have soared in Europe, which imports much of its natural gas from Russia, and led to pain for businesses and households.