New sanctions imposed by the US on entities that worked on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline are ?illegal? and threaten to ruin the bilateral attempt of Moscow and Washington to improve communications, the Kremlin has claimed.
Speaking on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov slammed the new measures imposed on a Russian-affiliated company as well as two Russian vessels, apparently in an attempt to protect Europe's 'energy security'.
"The sanctions on Nord Stream 2 are a continuation of this sanctions language that Washington stubbornly refuses to give up," Peskov told reports at a press briefing. "We think it is illegal and wrong, and all the more so against the backdrop of such strenuous attempts to develop the dialogue that previously lost."
The new sanctions against Nord Stream 2, announced on Monday, are the latest in a series of American measures that have significantly slowed down the construction and operation of the pipeline. Washington has targeted companies involved in the building, maintenance, and insurance of the project, amongst others. It is now complete but is not yet certified.
The sanctions were also criticized by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who promised that Moscow would respond to the measures in kind. According to the diplomat, Western countries "led by the Americans" impose politically motivated unilateral restrictions on everything, "for any reason or no reason."
"For our part, we react to such unfriendly steps in a balanced and adequate manner," Lavrov revealed.
Once operations begin, Nord Stream 2 will send gas directly from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea, allowing Moscow to send gas without transiting other countries. It would also enable Berlin to protect its energy security and make the process less reliant on third parties, thereby lowering the price.