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Officials at the U.S. State department say sanctions against Nord Stream 2 for military moves into eastern Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin are just the beginning of a response by the United States.
Watch Price’s remarks in the player above.
State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, at a Wednesday press conference said, “This is the beginning of our response. If Putin escalates further, we will escalate further.”
President Joe Biden is allowing sanctions to move forward against the company that built the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and against the company’s CEO for its actions against Ukraine.
Biden said Wednesday “I have directed my administration to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its corporate officers. These steps are another piece of our initial tranche of sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. As I have made clear, we will not hesitate to take further steps if Russia continues to escalate.”
Germany said Tuesday that it was indefinitely suspending the project, after Biden charged that Putin had launched “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine” by sending troops into two separatist regions of eastern Ukraine.
The pipeline is completed but had not yet begun operating.
Critics, including the U.S., have said the pipeline is a geopolitical move that will only increase Europe’s dependency on Russian natural gas.
“What the Germans did yesterday was to ensure that the pipeline is no longer part of the equation. So, by acting together with the Germans, how we did when we did and the way in which we did, we have ensured that this is an 11-billion-dollar prize investment that is now a hunk of steel sitting at the bottom of the sea,” Price said.
Meanwhile, the United States added to sanctions Wednesday against what it said were members of an illicit financing network for Yemen’s Houthi rebels, responding to the Iran-backed group’s recent escalation of drone and missile attacks on its oil-rich Gulf neighbors.
The penalties from the Treasury Department appeared to fall short of the tougher measures that the Saudis and Emiratis, key strategic partners of the U.S., had sought from the Biden administration.
Price said, “we have a number of tools at our disposal, including the tools we use today in mounting sanctions and designations against these Houthi affiliated individuals and entities.”
Adding, “we will use every appropriate tool to hold accountable those Houthi leaders who are responsible for the terrorist attacks.”
U.S. officials have been in talks with Saudi Arabia and the UAE as the crisis in Ukraine worsens high petroleum prices and a supply shortfall globally.
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