By Petra Sorge
Zurich Insurance Group AG has dropped out of providing insurance coverage related to the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline project amid concerns about sanctions imposed by the U.S. administration under President Trump.
"We have been in close coordination with the U.S. Department of State to discuss the sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and we have terminated all of our insurance coverages that were sanctionable under the National Defense Authorization Act for 2021, passed into law in January," a spokesman told The Wall Street Journal.
The 9.5-billion euro ($11.47 billion) pipeline, aimed at transporting natural gas from Russia to Germany, is opposed by Republicans and Democrats in Washington alike, who fear it will increase Europe's dependency on Russia. The project is led by Russian state company Gazprom.
The Swiss insurer didn't believe it faced any sanctions exposure from the U.S. or any other regulator with respect to Nord Stream 2, the spokesman said.
"Zurich will continue to work closely with the State Department and all other regulators worldwide to ensure that all of our activities are compliant with applicable laws and regulations," the spokesman said.
Members of the Trump administration had told government officials in Berlin and other European capitals that the sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act would come into force Tuesday, according to German newspaper Handelsblatt.
The sanctions are aimed at the Russian pipeline building vessel "Fortuna" and its owner KVT-RUS as well as any other European company that helps the ship in finalizing the pipeline project.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 19, 2021 11:59 ET (16:59 GMT)Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.