The Ministry of foreign Affairs of Germany has criticized the U.S. plans to impose new sanctions against participants in the construction of the pipeline “Nord stream – 2”. The statement of the Minister of foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas published on the Agency’s website on 16 July.
Maas believes that the us government “neglects the law and the sovereignty of Europe to decide where and how to get energy”.
“European energy policy has been in place in Europe, not in Washington. We strongly reject the extraterritorial sanctions,” the diplomat said.
Maas reported that in recent weeks the German government conducted negotiations with the American side in connection with a possible tightening of the sanctions policy, which Berlin “has clearly stated his position.”
“We believe the improper imposition of sanctions on affiliates. We need a common transatlantic position on sanctions against Russia. The US decision will make it more difficult”, – said the head of the German foreign Ministry.
“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.
At the end of June 2020, the U.S. Senate included new sanctions against the “Nord stream – 2” in the draft defense budget for fiscal year 2021. Senators, in particular, has 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.
Even before the inclusion of new sanctions in a draft defense budget, the German authorities have expressed concern about the possible increase of the restrictive measures. The Ministry of economy and energy of Germany stated that it opposes any extraterritorial sanctions. According to Bloomberg, Germany is preparing a response – the government led by Angela Merkel is seeking a coordinated response from the EU on this issue, as the sanctions may involve European companies, banks and state institutions.
July 15, U.S. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said that “Nord stream – 2” and the second branch of the “Turkish stream” Washington included in the list of objects subject to the law “On combating the enemies of America by sanctions” (CAATSA). The new provision implies the possibility of applying sanctions to those who invest or lead any other activity related to Russian export pipelines. Later, the state Department explainedthat currently the U.S. does not impose additional sanctions, but simply provided the opportunity.