Biden announces sanctions against company behind Nord Stream 2

President Biden on Wednesday announced his administration is imposing sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG — the company behind the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, now halted, and its corporate officers. This announcement comes as a senior defense official says Russian forces are uncoiled and ready to invade now, and the new sanctions complement those imposed by the U.S. and Europe this week.

“Today, I have directed my administration to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its corporate officers,” Mr. Biden said in a statement. “These steps are another piece of our initial tranche of sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. As I have made clear, we will not hesitate to take further steps if Russia continues to escalate. Through his actions, President Putin has provided the world with an overwhelming incentive to move away from Russian gas and to other forms of energy.”

On Tuesday, Germany announced it is suspending the pipeline that would bring natural gas from Russia to Germany, a move the U.S. has strongly encouraged. Mr. Biden also announced sanctions against Russian financial institutions and elites. He called Russia’s latest actions “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine” and pledged more sanctions could come if Russia becomes undertakes more acts of aggression against its neighbor.

The senior defense official says 80% of Russian forces arrayed near Ukraine are now in what the Pentagon considers “forward positions,” and Russian President Vladimir Putin has now assembled nearly 100% of the forces the U.S. believes he would need to conduct an invasion.

This week, Putin formally recognized Luhansk and Donetsk as independent from Ukraine and said he would send so-called “peacekeeping” forces into the regions. Russian lawmakers signed off on the Russian president’s request to use military force outside Russia.

— CBS News’ Eleanor Watson contributed reporting.

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