Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder at a hearing of the Bundestag Committee for economy and energy of July 1, has criticized the intention of the US to impose new sanctions against the pipeline “Nord stream – 2”, told the newspaper Handelsblatt.
Schroeder is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company 2 the Nord Stream AG – operator of the gas pipeline “Nord stream – 2”.
According to Schroeder, the initiative of the United States evidence the termination of the transatlantic partnership.
He called Washington’s plans to impose sanctions “the widespread, unjustified attack on the European economy and an unacceptable interference in the sovereignty of the EU and energy security of Western Europe”.
The initiative to impose new sanctions against the pipeline had previously caused concern to the German authorities. The Ministry of economy and energy of Germany stated that it opposes any extraterritorial restrictive measures. According to the Agency Bloomberg, Germany is preparing a response to new US sanctions – the government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking a coordinated response from the EU on this issue, because measures may affect European companies, banks and state institutions.
June 30, the U.S. Senate included new sanctions against the pipeline “Nord stream – 2” in the draft defense budget for fiscal year 2021. Senators, in particular, proposed to extend sanctions on firms that have been involved in the construction of the pipeline companies insurance and certification services, as well as services related to the technological upgrading or installing welding equipment.
The Senate and the House of representatives will present their versions of the defense budget, they are then combined by the conciliation Commission, then both houses vote for the final version. The law shall enter into force upon signature by the President.
In 2019, the United States imposed sanctions against the “Nord stream – 2” in a similar way – they, too, were prescribed in the defence budget.
“Nord stream – 2” gas pipeline that will link Russia to Germany under the Baltic sea. The length of the trail is more than 1,200 km, the new pipeline’s capacity will be 55 billion m3 of gas per year. The cost of the project is €9.5 billion, half of it financed by the Russian “Gazprom” and five European companies: Anglo-Dutch Shell, German Wintershall and Uniper, Engie French and Austrian OMV.
The authorities of Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are considered “Nord stream – 2” the threat to Europe’s energy security.
In 2018, Germany, Finland and Sweden were allowed to lay the pipeline through its territory, Denmark gave permission only in 2019. It was expected that the construction of the pipeline will be completed by the end of 2019, but then starting the “Nord stream – 2” is moved to the end of 2020.
Now the construction of the pipeline is frozen, because in December 2019, the President of the United States Donald trump signed the defense budget for 2020, which envisages the introduction of sanctions against the Russian gas pipeline “Turkish stream” and “Nord stream – 2”. Immediately after that, the Swiss company Allseas has suspended work on the construction of “Nord stream – 2” and withdrew from the Baltic sea and its pipe-laying ships. At the time of suspension of work remained to lay on the Baltic sea, 160 km of pipes, the publication reported Neftegaz.Ru.