Russia vows retaliation over US sanctions on pipeline

A spokesman for the Russian government says that the country will take action after the U.S. sanctioned companies and individuals involved with the construction of a natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.

The Associated Press reported Monday that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that his government would respond to the U.S. after sanctions by the Trump administration were blamed for shutting down work from one Swiss company on the Nord Stream 2 project.

“How and when [the Russian response] will be done remains a question of Russia’s national interests,” Peskov told reporters, according to the AP.

ADVERTISEMENT

Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, added that the sanctions were “unacceptable, blunt actions that violate all norms of international law and diplomatic and human decency."

The remarks come days after Germany's government reportedly indicated that the U.S. would not face retaliation over the sanctions targeting the Nord Stream 2 project, though German officials expressed dismay at the U.S. actions. Germany has faced criticism in the past from the U.S. over its energy dependence on Russia.

U.S. officials argue that the Nord Stream 2 project will only increase that dependence at a time when Russia's military forces are actively involved in supporting militant groups in eastern Ukraine.

The Swiss company involved with the pipeline's construction, Allseas, said in a statement Saturday that it was suspending activities that came in conflict with the sanctions following the passage of the annual defense reauthorization bill last week, which included the sanctions.

“In anticipation of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Allseas has suspended its Nord Stream 2 pipelay activities,” Allseas said in a statement.

“Allseas will proceed, consistent with the legislation’s wind down provision and expect guidance comprising of the necessary regulatory, technical and environmental clarifications from the relevant US authority,” the company continued.