Gazprom's partners look to bypass US sanctions to finance Nord Stream 2

Gazprom's partners look to bypass US sanctions to finance Nord Stream 2
To avoid the pressure of US sanctions, European investors might be forced to look for some new schemes of funding the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project with Asian banks attracted to the enterprise, says the CEO of Austrian energy company OMV Rainer Seele.

“We will definitely have to revise the financing system of Nord Stream 2, but the contractual obligations to implement the project are preserved,” Seele said at the news conference devoted to the impacts of US sanctions on German businesses in Russia.

He stressed the company would estimate the impact of US sanctions on the project, as well as check possible ways to meet the requirements through agencies for export financing.

Gazprom’s partners are considering attracting Asian and Russian lenders, according to the CEO.

“In case of the worst scenario, when no bank gives us a euro, we might finance 100 percent of the project by our own funds,” he stressed.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline plans to double the delivery capacity of Russian natural gas to Europe from the current 55 billion cubic meters per year.

Seele, who heads the German-Russian Foreign Trade Chamber, also urged German authorities and the European Commission to take counter steps in response to anti-Russian penalties.

“To provide a secure environment we need to take positive steps for both the German and European economies - for secure energy supplies to the European Union,” he said.

Last month, Washington introduced a new round of restrictions on the Russian banking and energy sectors. The ban targets already sanctioned Russian firms, limiting the financing period for them to 14 and 60 days.

READ MORE: German business lobby urges EU action against new US sanctions on Russia

The law will punish individuals for investing more than $5 million a year or $1 million at a time in Russian energy export pipeline projects or providing such enterprises with services, technology or information support.