SOCHI (Sputnik) – Political tensions between Russia and the United States over the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline have prevented US companies from participating in the project, President of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Russia Alexis Rodzianko told Sputnik on Thursday.
“I know that many of our companies would have liked to participate as suppliers to the project. It’s a big project, it’s well-funded, and they have not been able to because of political pressures”, Rodzianko said on the sidelines of the Russian Investment Forum.
READ MORE: Nothing to ‘Slow Gazprom Down’ After EU’s Nord Stream 2 Approval — German Media
Rodzianko added that he hoped geopolitical relations would improve after the completion of the project, which would give an incentive to businesses to potentially participate.
“Once the project is finished, it’s finished, and the likelihood of getting into it afterwards is less, but of course if the geopolitics level out, if relations become better, that will certainly be an encouragement. But that’s something we don’t control but we certainly hope that there will be a time when the relationship will be better”, Rodzianko pointed out.
Washington has been strongly opposing the project. Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced the belief that US President Donald Trump was seeking to force Russia out of the European energy market so that the United States could sell more liquefied natural gas to Europe. Moscow has also reiterated that the pipeline is a purely commercial project.
Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russian gas giant Gazprom and five European companies. It aims to deliver 55 billion cubic metres (1.9 trillion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas annually to the European Union. The pipeline project has been welcomed by some countries in Europe and opposed by others, who’ve raised concerns over the alleged danger of Europe becoming dependent on Russia and the subsequent diminished transit role of Ukraine.