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Zurich Insurance to drop out of Nord Stream 2 project - sources

Sat 16th January, 2021 2:59pm
ZURICH/WASHINGTON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Zurich Insurance Group
 ZURN.S  will drop out of Russia's Nord Stream 2 project in the
face of looming U.S. sanctions against European companies that
support construction of the $11 billion gas pipeline, two
sources familiar with the situation said.
    The U.S. State Department this month told companies which it
suspects are helping to build the pipeline that they face a risk
of sanctions as the outgoing Trump administration prepares a
final round of punitive measures against the project, Reuters
reported this week.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2JO30Z
    Zurich, which has a big U.S. business, is one of around 20
insurers in a consortium backing the project, one person
familiar with the situation said.
    The Swiss insurer declined to comment on Saturday on
specific customers, but said: "Zurich has a comprehensive
compliance framework in place and is committed to fully comply
with any applicable sanctions regulations."
    The Nord Stream 2 consortium said on Friday that preparatory
work to complete the subsea gas pipeline to Germany in Danish
waters can go ahead, pointing to the latest notifications by the
Danish Maritime Authority.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2JQ2D3
    Denmark's Nautiskinformation notified shippers on Thursday
that prohibited areas near Bornholm would be established
beginning on Friday for the pipe laying vessel Fortuna, assisted
by construction and supply vessels.
    Construction of Nord Stream 2 was initially halted in
December 2019 following a sanctions threat from the United
States, which wants to cut Europe's dependence on Russian energy
and sell its own liquefied natural gas to the region.
    Nord Stream 2, led by state energy company Gazprom
 GAZP.MM , is designed to double capacity of the existing
undersea Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Germany to 110
billion cubic metres per year, more than half of Russia's
overall pipeline gas exports to Europe.   

 (Reporting by Michael Shields and Timothy Gardner, editing by
Louise Heavens)
 ((Michael.Shields@thomsonreuters.com; +41 41 528 3630; Reuters
Messaging: michael.shields.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))
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