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Iran Press TV

Russia denounces US for threat of sanctions on gas projects in Europe

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 16 July 2020 5:06 PM

Russia has denounced the US threat of sanctions on two pipeline projects in Europe, saying Washington's aim is to dissuade the Europeans from purchasing Russian natural gas.

The Kremlin said in a statement Thursday that Washington has been using the sanction threat as a tool to pressure all the companies engaged in the construction of gas pipelines from Russia to Europe.

Russia has two projects to send natural gas to Europe, namely the Nord Steam 2, which will send Russian natural gas to Germany, and the Turk Stream 2 pipeline, which will supply Western Europe with energy.

The Nord Steam 2 will deliver Russian gas via the Baltic Sea, bypassing Poland and Ukraine. The Turk Stream 2 will carry gas through Bulgaria.

The Kremlin's reaction came just a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington plans to include both projects in the list of projects to be sanctioned by the US under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) legislation.

He warned investors in the two projects that they could face sanctions as President Donald Trump's administration seeks to curb the Kremlin's purported economic leverage over Europe and Turkey.

In December, Trump signed off sanctions against companies building the nearly $11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also slammed Washington for its threat of sanctions against the Russian projects and all the companies engaged in them.

"We note that Washington continues to prove to the world with surprising persistence that it has become an axiom, that the United States has no other arguments on the international agenda than sanctions," she said.

"The more I watch Mike Pompeo's interviews recently, where he addresses such topics, the more it seems to me that I'm watching a movie from the Cold War," Zakharova added.

The US sanctions target pipe-laying vessels for the two projects, including asset freezes and revocation of US visas for the contractors.

One major contractor that is targeted is Swiss-based Allseas, which has been hired by Russia's state-owned energy giant Gazprom to build the offshore section.

Russia rejects Western allegation of vaccine data stealing

Britain's National Cyber Security Center said earlier on Thursday that hackers, allegedly supported by Moscow, attempted to steal COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research from academic and pharmaceutical institutions around the world.

The US and Canada parroted the allegations.

Later in the day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov strongly rejected the allegations, stressing that the Russian government had nothing to do with any alleged hacker attacks on pharmaceutical companies and research institutes in the UK or anywhere else across the world.

Peskov, whose remarks were carried by TASS news agency, added that London's allegations were not backed by proper evidence.

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