Trump approves Russia-Europe gas pipeline sanctions

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(VOVWORLD) - US President Donald Trump on Friday signed off on US sanctions against companies building a Russian natural gas pipeline to Germany that Congress fears will give the Kremlin dangerous leverage over European allies. 

The sanctions, which are opposed by the European Union, were included in a sprawling defence spending bill Trump signed at a ceremony on Joint Base Andrews, an air force installation outside Washington, DC.

They target companies building the nearly 11 billion USD Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea with the aim of doubling deliveries of Russian natural gas to Europe’s leading economy, Germany.

US lawmakers have warned the pipeline would vastly increase Russia’s influence in Europe at a time of heightened tension across the continent. Both houses of Congress overwhelmingly approved the sanctions, with the Senate voting Tuesday to send the measure to Trump’s desk.