German banks maneuver in U.S. to temper Russia sanctions

German banks are seeking to blunt any fresh U.S. sanctions against Russia so they can continue existing business with Russian clients, according to an internal briefing paper prepared by a financial industry lobby group.

New anti-Moscow measures could jeopardize funding for a multi-billion dollar gas pipeline between Germany and Russia.

The 9.5 billion euro ($10.78 billion) Nord Stream 2 project, which seeks to channel gas from Russia directly to Germany under the Baltic Sea, is not mentioned in the document but its future lies at the heart of the renewed lobbying push.

The pipeline project, majority owned by Russian energy giant Gazprom, plans to tap lenders this year, a spokesman for Nord Stream 2 told Reuters. He did not comment on the risk of new sanctions.

Lenders will not want to run afoul of any U.S. sanctions.

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