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Sanctions on Russia Gas Pipeline Included in Annual US Defense Bill

Sanctions that could hinder one of Moscow’s most important projects in Europe, the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, have been included in the annual U.S. defense policy bill, two congressional aides said on Wednesday. The sanctions in the compromise National Defense Authorization Act between lawmakers in the House and Senate would penalize companies facilitating the construction of the pipeline, including ships helping operations to lay pipelines or moving rock formations on the sea bed. The sanctions also target companies providing insurance or secondary insurance for its construction and certification for the pipeline in Denmark. The bill would become law only after being passed by both chambers in Congress and signed by President Donald Trump. The $11 billion Nord Stream 2, led by Russia’s state energy company Gazprom, would double its existing pipeline capacity to take gas undersea to Europe via Germany. It would bypass Ukraine, which depends on lucrative …