The German Foreign Ministry Called Unacceptable New US Sanctions Against The Nord Stream 2
Possible new US sanctions against Nord Stream 2 are aimed at stopping the implementation of the project, which is being implemented, according to EU legislation and therefore are unacceptable. This news was stated on Wednesday by Niels Annen, State Secretary at the German Foreign Ministry, at a meeting of the Bundestag Committee on economy and energy, dedicated to the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and the preservation of Europe's energy sovereignty.
"The position of the German government on this issue is clear: extraterritorial sanctions are a blatant interference in the EU's sovereignty. It is obvious that the American side is trying to unilaterally stop the project, " he said. Annen pointed out that in addition to German companies, French, Dutch, and Austrian companies may be under the threat of restrictive measures.
"This is not about the German-American issue, as it often seems, but about European sovereignty," he stressed. "The further effect of the sanctions affects our foreign policy capacity: uncoordinated sanctions damage the joint policy towards Russia," said the State Secretary at the German Foreign Ministry. He recalled that the EU has different positions on the Nord Stream 2, but, according to him, there is a common opinion in the community: US threats to impose sanctions against European companies are unacceptable.
"The fact that the US Congress acts as a regulator of European issues is absurd," the state Secretary stressed. "We want to oppose this, including in the interests of the transatlantic partnership," he added.
"The German government is convinced that differences between the allies should be resolved through negotiations. Sanctions are the wrong way to do this," Annen said. "In this regard, I welcome the idea of the Committee to address American deputies, senators, and members of Congress to clarify their position on the Nord Stream 2, "he concluded.
Waiting for the bill to be passed
"The timing of the vote [on the bill in the US Congress] and other details are unknown, but we have to assume that this bill will soon be passed," Annen said.
In turn, the Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Economy Ministry, Thomas Barais, called" an unprecedented case in the history of transatlantic relations " the possible extension of US sanctions against Nord Stream 2. "In this regard, the German government has started negotiations with our European partners in order to coordinate their actions with the European Commission. I am grateful that we received support here," he said.
"According to our assessment, the new bill may have serious consequences," Barais said. "Ultimately, the sanctions can stop the commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 in the long term," he believes.
Gas pipeline project
The Nord Stream 2 project involves the construction of two lines of a gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year from the Russian coast through the Baltic sea to Germany. By now, the pipeline is 93% complete. The halt in the project's implementation was due to the fact that in December 2019, due to US sanctions, the Swiss company Allseas stopped construction work and withdrew its vessels.
On June 4, Republicans introduced a bill to expand sanctions against Nord Stream 2 to the US Senate. As noted by the press service of one of the authors of the initiative, the document "clarifies and expands the sanctions under the law on ensuring energy security in Europe" and is aimed "at blocking the completion of the construction of the gas pipeline."