Washington, Mar 19 (IANS): The US government has threatened new sanctions against companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, urging them to pull out of the German-Russian project.
The US State Department "reiterates its warning that any entity involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline risks US sanctions and should immediately abandon work on the pipeline", said Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement on Thursday.
He added that the Department is tracking efforts to complete the pipeline and "evaluating information regarding entities that appear to be involved" in the project.
Nord Stream 2 is a "bad deal for Germany, for Ukraine, and for our Central and Eastern European allies and partners", Blinken said.
"As multiple US administrations have made clear, this pipeline is a Russian geopolitical project intended to divide Europe."
The Secretary of State pointed to sanctions legislation passed by Congress against the project and said President Joe Biden would comply with it.
So far, the US has only imposed sanctions on the Russian company KVT-RUS, which operates the pipe-laying vessel Fortuna.
The measures were announced by former President Donald Trump's administration shortly before the end of its term in January.
US officials argue the pipeline, which is supposed to transport 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Russia to Germany once a year trhough the Baltic Sea, will make Europe too dependent on Russian energy supplies.
Supporters of the gas pipeline, on the other hand, have long accused the US of undermining the project in order to increase sales of their liquid gas in Europe.