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US to Keep Imposing Sanctions on Nord Stream 2 Participants

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States will continue to utilize sanctions against entities and individuals engaged in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to reiterate its opposition to the Russian project despite low likelihood of stopping it, US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Thursday.

"We will continue to take action as appropriate against entities and individuals engaged in sanctionable activity to demonstrate our continued opposition to this pipeline," Price said during a daily briefing.

Price cited US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken who recently admitted that there is “a low likelihood to prevent or to forestall physical construction using sanctions.”

He added that the goal remains to ensure that Russia cannot use energy as "a coercive tool against Ukraine or anyone else in the region."

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is 95 percent complete, is designed to transport natural gas across the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. It has been met with opposition from the US, who views the project as threatening European energy independence and imposed multiple rounds of sanctions on companies and businessmen engaged in it. Russia insists that the Nord Stream 2 is a purely economic endeavor and vows to finish the construction in the nearest future.

In May, the Biden administration announced that it would waive sanctions on the pipeline's operator Nord Stream 2 AG, as well as its chief executive Matthias Warnig, as part of efforts to repair the damage done to US-Europe relations during the Donald Trump presidency.

Price said the US government did not want to arrive at the situation where physical construction of the pipeline was completed while also putting its relationship with its ally Germany on footing that was perhaps less stable or undermining that relationship in any way.

“We feel that other tools are more appropriate to engage our German allies including the tool of diplomacy and that tool we have been wielding ever since this administration took office,” he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Nord Stream 2 is a purely economic project and any statements claiming otherwise do not correspond to reality.

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