The Biden administration announced more penalties against the contentious Nord Stream 2 pipeline project on Monday.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed that the Russian company Transadria Ltd., one of its vessels, and another unnamed vessel had been blacklisted under the Protecting Europe's Energy Security Act of 2019.
The blacklisted businesses were selected for sanctions in a report given to Congress on Monday by the State Department per the laws prohibiting Russia from utilizing its energy resources for coercive purposes.
According to the legislation, "Russia uses its energy export pipeline to create national and regional dependences on Russian energy supplies, leveraging these dependencies to expand its political, economic and military influence, weaken European security and undermine U.S. national security and foreign policy interests."
According to the project's website, the pipeline will transport natural gas from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea to supplement the European Union's rapidly falling domestic gas supply.
The Biden administration is the third in a row to oppose the $11 billion pipeline project, describing it as a "bad deal" for Germany, Ukraine, and the U.S.' Central and Eastern European allies and partners.
The Biden administration sanctioned eight individuals and 17 boats in connection with Nord Stream 2, while President Joe Biden excused a German business and its CEO from the punitive sanctions in May.
"Even as the administration continues to oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, including via our sanctions, we continue to work with Germany and other allies and partners to reduce the risks posed by the pipeline to Ukraine and frontline NATO and E.U. countries and to push back against harmful Russian activities, including in the energy sphere," Blinken said in a statement Monday.
The sanctions were implemented in response to growing concerns about Russia's possible invasion of Ukraine as it amasses forces along their shared border.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged Russia to ease tensions on Nov. 15 while reiterating that the intergovernmental military alliance "stands with Ukraine."
"All NATO allies are united in their condemnation of Russia's behavior," he said, referring to Russia's military buildup and prior acts against Ukraine, including the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
On Thursday, Denys Shmyhal, Ukraine's prime minister, called on the U.S. to sanction Russia, accusing the Kremlin of fomenting an energy crisis in Europe and endangering his country's sovereignty.
"Ukraine urges you not to protect a geopolitical project that would make Ukraine more vulnerable to Russian aggression," he said in a statement.