Berlin has reaffirmed its support for the Russia-led gas pipeline despite the threat of new US sanctions against European firms involved in the project. Nord Stream 2 will be completed, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
“European energy policy is decided in Europe, not the United States. We reject any outside interventions and extraterritorial sanctions,” said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
Die europäische Energiepolitik wird in Europa entschieden, nicht in den USA. Eingriffe von außen und Sanktionen mit extraterritorialer Wirkung lehnen wir grundsätzlich ab. https://t.co/vx9teDdh6l
— Heiko Maas 🇪🇺 (@HeikoMaas) December 12, 2019
The statement comes amid looming US sanctions against the project, that were recently added to US 2020 National Defence Authorisation Act, which is up for approval before Christmas.
If approved by the US Congress, the act would allow the Trump administration to sanction companies involved in Russian gas pipeline projects.
European companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 project include German energy firms Wintershall and Uniper, French multinational Engie, British-Dutch oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell, and Austrian energy company OMV.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who met with US President Donald Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday, said “I assure you that neither Nord Stream 2 nor TurkStream will stop.”
Nord Stream 2, which runs from the Russian Baltic coast to Germany, will deliver 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year to European customers. It is scheduled to begin operating in the middle of next year.
All the countries on the route of the pipeline – Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany have already approved the project. The gas pipeline has been repeatedly criticized by the United States which is at the same time trying to boost sales of American liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe.
With more than 50 percent of Russian gas supplies to the EU traditionally flowing through Ukraine, Nord Stream 2 (which is the extension of the Nord Stream gas pipeline) has been built as a supplementary route to guarantee stable supplies to Europe.
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