Jan. 19 (UPI) -- The United States on Tuesday sanctioned a network of oil entities that officials say have helped Venezuela escape existing penalties for transactions, a day after punishing a Russian ship involved in building an underwater gas pipeline to Germany.
The new measures target a network of individuals and entities that officials say are attempting to help Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro evade existing U.S. sanctions and sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of oil.
The U.S. Treasury said the sanctions target three people, fourteen entities and six vessels.
"Those facilitating the illegitimate Maduro regime's attempts to circumvent United States sanctions contribute to the corruption that consumes Venezuela," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
"The United States remains committed to targeting those enabling the Maduro regime's abuse of Venezuela's natural resources."
On Monday, the Trump administration sanctioned the Russian freighter "Fortuna" that was involved in laying the 765-mile Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is is more than 90% complete. Nord Stream 2 is the second natural pipeline in the Baltic Sea delivering gas from Russia to Germany.
"The EU is grown enough to determine its own energy policy and to protect an investment project such as Nord Stream 2 approved according to its rules from external influence," Oliver Hermes, chairman of the Eastern Committee of the German Economy, told Handelsblatt on Tuesday.
Germany has said that importing clean-burning natural gas from Russia is key to reducing fossil fuel and coal energy.
The Trump administration has criticized the pipeline as destabilizing to Europe's energy economy, saying it gives Russia too much control. Environmentalists also oppose the pipeline.
Nord Stream 1 already delivers 55 billion cubic meters of gas to Germany. Nord Stream 2 aims to double that capacity.