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UPDATE 1-Nord Stream 2 to press on with Europe gas pipe, despite U.S. sanctions

sanctions@ (Adds background)

MOSCOW, Dec 21 (Reuters) - The group behind Nord Stream 2 said on Saturday it aimed to complete a pipeline to boost Russian gas supplies to Europe as soon as possible, after a major contractor suspended pipe-laying activities due to U.S. sanctions.

A U.S. bill signed by Donald Trump on Friday included legislation imposing sanctions on companies laying pipe for Nord Stream 2, the project that aims to double gas capacity along the northern Nord Stream 1 pipeline route to Germany.

Nord Stream 2, which will run along the Baltic Sea floor, will enable Russia to bypass Ukraine and Poland to deliver gas.

"Completing the project is essential for European supply security. We together with the companies supporting the project will work on finishing the pipeline as soon as possible," the groups said.

Nord Stream 2 confirmed that its contractor, Swiss-Dutch company Allseas, suspended pipe-laying activities.

Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, which is backing the project, declined to comment. (Reporting by Maria Grabar, Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Andrey Kuzmin; Editing by Edmund Blair)