Threatening Sanctions US Ambassador Richard Grenell's letter in full

The US ambassador to Berlin wrote to energy companies involved in building a new gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Here is the text.

As you are aware, the United States strongly opposes Nord Stream 2. We support, and have supported for decades, the European goal of protecting its energy security through diversification. The Nord Stream 2 project hinders that effort. In addition, the pipeline poses serious geostrategic consequences to our European allies and partners. Our concerns are widely shared. Eastern European members of the EU, many governments in Western Europe, and Canada are all opposed to the project. These partners share our deep concerns about Russia's increasingly aggressive behavior, especially Moscow's use of energy resources for political and economic leverage.

Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine entered a new stage with the unprovoked attack on three Ukrainian vessels near the Kerch Strait on November 25. As of today, 24 Ukrainian soldiers are still in a Russian prison. This Russian attack underscores the urgent need to stop projects that provide the Russian Federation with additional tools it can use to undermine Ukrainian security, such as Nord Stream 2.

If completed, Nord Stream 2 and the second line of TurkStream would facilitate Russian efforts to bypass Ukraine as a gas transit route to Europe. If this occurs, it could well mean the removal of a key strategic deterrent against Russian aggressive behavior in Ukraine. As a result, companies who support the building of these pipelines are actively undermining Ukraine and Europe's security.

On December 12, the European Parliament passed a resolution by overwhelming majority supporting Ukraine's reform efforts, denouncing Russian aggression near the Sea of Azov, and calling for Nord Stream 2's cancellation. This vote symbolizes the highly divisive nature of this pipeline within the European Union.

Pressure to take action to stop Nord Stream 2 in Washington is mounting. On December 11, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding, bipartisan resolution supporting sanctions with respect to Nord Stream 2 under section 232 of the Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act (22 U.S.C 9526). There are also draft bills under consideration in Congress that, if passed, could impose sanctions.

While the United States does not comment on specific future sanctions actions, we continue to stress that firms operating in the Russian energy export pipeline sector are engaging in activities that carry significant sanctions risk.

I therefore request on behalf of my government that your company consider the danger this project represents to European energy security, as well as the reputational costs and sanctions risks associated with it.