A man is seen at work at Zagorsk Pipe Plant (ZTZ), which launched the production of large-diameter pipes for Russian gas giant Gazprom, outside Moscow, Russia May 29, 2017.REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
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New U.S. sanctions will make it harder for Russia to build two gas export pipelines to Europe but the projects are unlikely to be stopped. U.S. President Donald Trump has reluctantly signed into law further sanctions on Russia but some of the measures are discretionary and most White House watchers believe he will not take action against Russia's energy infrastructure.This would allow Gazprom's two big pipeline projects to go ahead, although at a higher price and with some delays.The Kremlin, dependent on oil and gas revenues, sees the pipelines to Germany and Turkey – Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream – as crucial to increasing its market share in Europe.The European Union, fearing sanctions will hurt oil and gas projects on which it depends, said it was ready to retaliate unless it obtained U.S. guarantees that European firms would not be targeted.Five Western firms that have invested in Nord Stream 2 – Wintershall and Uniper of Germany, Austria's OMV, Anglo-Dutch Shell, and France's Engie – say it is too early to judge the impact of sanctions.A spokesman for Nord Stream 2 said more than 200 non-Russian companies from 17 countries, most of them European, are involved in building the pipeline.
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