RUSSIA warned the US yesterday not to put pressure on anyone over the certification of the £8.4bn Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline.
Speaking yesterday to reporters, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said: "It is very important, of course, that the United States of America does not put pressure on anyone in connection with the ongoing implementation and certification of this project."
The newly completed 759-mile pipeline is still awaiting clearance from German regulators before Russia can start exporting gas through it.
If green-lit, it will double Russian flows into Germany, providing 55bn additional cubic metres of gas per year.
The certification process was temporarily suspended earlier this month as the project did not meet German and EU laws requiring operators and suppliers to be owned separately.
Gazprom-backed Nord Stream 2 AG is now set to create a specific operator to oversee the pipeline's German section.
The Kremlin's comments follow the Biden administration imposing new sanctions, targeting Russia-linked Transadria.One of the company's vessels has also been labelled as "blocked property".
While the US has waived specific sanctions on the pipeline's operator, it remains opposed to NS2 - with Washington concerned it would make Europe too reliant on Russian gas. The continent already depends on Russia for over a third of its gas supplies.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also spoken against the project, as it could reduce transit fees for gas passing through Ukraine and further side-line the country in European affairs.
NS2 bypasses Ukraine and instead imports Russian gas directly to Germany via the bed of the Baltic Sea.
The continent is bracing itself for a difficult winter amid supply shortages and soaring prices, along with fears of potential blackouts across Europe.
(c) 2021 City A.M., source Newspaper