One more European firm caves to US pressure on Nord Stream 2 project – media

Jan 17, 2021 | BUSINESS

One of the largest insurers in Switzerland, Zurich Insurance Group, has decided to sever ties with the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project amid US sanctions pressure, according to media reports.

The company’s plans to turn its back on the $11 billion project were revealed by Bloomberg and Reuters. The insurance provider could become the third firm to ditch the gas pipeline in the final stages of construction in less than three weeks, following similar steps by Norwegian certifier Det Norske Veritas Holding AS and Danish engineering firm Ramboll.

Zurich Insurance declined to comment on the potential pull-out from Nord Stream 2, citing the confidentiality of its relations with specific customers. Earlier, it told media that the company is in compliance with any applicable sanctions regulations.

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The Swiss-based firm is one of a number of insurers linked to the pipeline. According to Reuters, it conducts a substantial amount of business in the US, and could risk losing access to the US market in light of the new sanctions. 

Earlier this month, the US stepped up efforts to derail the energy project that would deliver Russian gas to Germany and other European customers – a market that the US has its own plans for with its liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies. In January, it warned European firms involved in the construction of the pipeline that they risk sanctions and should pull out before it’s “too late.”

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