US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Tuesday that a sanctions bill targeting firms involved in Russia’s contested Nord Stream 2 gas project could be expected in the “not too distant future,” according to reports.
The pipeline aims to send Russian gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea, bypassing the Baltic states, Poland and Ukraine.
Warsaw and Washington have both strongly criticised the project amid concerns that the pipeline will make the European Union more dependent on Russian gas.
Perry was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying on Tuesday: “The United States Senate is going to pass a bill, the House is going to approve it, and it’s going to go to the President and he’s going to sign it.”
Perry was speaking during a visit to Kiev for the inauguration of Ukraine’s recently-elected President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Reuters added.
Poland’s Gazeta Polska Codziennie daily reported on Monday that four US senators have proposed new rules to allow financial and visa penalties to be imposed by America on companies and people involved in building Nord Stream 2.
The 1,200-kilometre pipeline is expected to supply around 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year from Russia to Germany.
US Vice President Mike Pence warned earlier this year that America “cannot ensure the defence of the West” if its allies grow dependent on Moscow as a result of projects such as Nord Stream 2.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last May that Nord Stream 2 was “a new hybrid weapon” aimed at the European Union and NATO.