Berlin / Washington (dpa) - The USA want to impose sanctions for the first time today because of the German-Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream 2.
The US embassy in Berlin informed the federal government about this, said a spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Economics to the dpa.
"We take note of this with regret."
The punitive measures should therefore affect the Russian laying ship "Fortuna" involved in the construction of the pipeline.
The embassy in Berlin said it was “determined to continue to take all necessary and appropriate steps to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which threatens important national interests of our European allies and the United States”.
Spokesman Joseph Giordono-Scholz made it clear that the arrest of Kremlin critic Alexej Navalny has strengthened this stance.
It was "another clear sign that Russia's behavior is not changing, and we continue to hope that Germany will reassess its position on the pipeline," he told the dpa.
So far, the US government has threatened sanctions for the controversial gas pipeline, but has not yet imposed any.
With the new punitive measures, the administration of Donald Trump wants to implement the threat for the first time shortly before its end of office this Wednesday.
The US is up against the gas pipeline because it sees its partners in Europe as being too dependent on Russia.
They are supported by Eastern European countries such as Poland and the Baltic countries.
Critics accuse the US, on the other hand, of only wanting to sell their liquid gas better in Europe.
At the beginning of the year, a US law came into force that expanded the sanction options.
Under this new law (Peesca), companies that are otherwise connected to laying work can also be penalized, for example by certifying the pipeline so that it can go into operation.
The Norwegian certification company DNV GL confirmed the withdrawal from the project on Monday due to the threat of US sanctions.
One was about to finish the work, it was said on request.
"As things stand now, DNV GL cannot issue a certificate when the pipeline is completed."
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210119-99-78467 / 3