The USA stepped up its opposition to the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline linking Russia and Germany, saying the project could draw U.S. sanctions. The U.S. opposes the project because it could increase Russia’s harmful influence in Europe and hurt Ukraine’s energy security and state budget revenues. German chancellor Angela Merkel changed her stance recently. Before, she deemed the pipeline to be a business issue, but she now demands that Russia take Ukraine’s interests into account. It seems likely Russia will continue to send some gas via Ukraine and Slovakia even after Nord Stream 2 is completed.