The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which shall deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas to the EU every year, has already been approved by Germany, Finland and also by Sweden. However, the United States assumes that the Project will increase Europe's dependence on Russian oil & gas, leading to an increased energy dependency and thus to a severe political disadvantage for the EU and its allies.
Sources familiar with the issue are saying that the US administration is close to impose sanctions on energy companies from Germany and other EU countries that are involved in the construction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. American officials are still looking for other ways to block the project, but key figures in the administration now view sanctions as an increasingly likely option.
The thread of sanctions imposed on companies involved with Nord Stream 2 is nothing new. The US State Department already made clear that such companies are working in a line of business that carries a high sanctions risk. The stance taken by US National Security Advisor John Bolton who views the Nord Stream 2 project as "a threat to the United States and European security" adds up to the impending risk of sanctions.
This measure would further burden the already tense relationship with important European allies, who are already upset because of numerous American single courses, like the withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, the withdraw from the Paris Climate Protection Agreement or the latest punitive duties imposed on steel and aluminum from Europe. Moreover, critical voices say that the US only has its own advantage in mind, like delivering its own liquid gas to the European market.