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Germany responds to USA's ultimatum about Nord Stream 2 project

18 May, 2018, 13:47 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • German-Russian pipeline takes shape despite US protests

Her comments came a day before German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to fly to the Russian resort of Sochi for a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin, at which the pipeline issue is expected to be a key topic of discussion. She has specified that this means that any pipeline construction project in the world could potentially be under sanctions.

The US intends to export more liquefied natural gas, but hindering the construction of Nord Stream 2 does not per se guarantee Washington's sales growth, the German Minister of Economics and Energy warned.

The German government's point man for Russia, Dirk Wiese, said that at a time of strong disagreements between Russia and the West over Ukraine and other matters, Berlin views the pipeline and the Iran deal as "islands of cooperation" with Moscow. She explained the United States position as follows: the construction of the gas pipeline will strengthen Europe's dependence on the Russian natural gas.

Oudkirk said the USA also opposed the pipeline due to security concerns, adding it would allow Russian Federation to place listening devices along the pipeline's route, although she declined to comment on specific devices.

The US threats to Nord Stream 2, which has split eastern and western European Union states, could impact companies in Austria, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

In addition, the United States has threatened to sanction European companies that help build the pipeline.




"The new project would permit new technologies to be placed along the pipeline route and that is a threat".

Poland, Denmark and Ukraine also oppose the project, arguing that it will increase the EU's dependency on Russian gas and Europe should instead focus on diversifying its energy resources.

"This pipeline can't be used to blackmail or negatively affect any country", he said.

The US believes that Moscow will be able to exert greater influence over Berlin as well as cut about $1 billion a year in transit fees paid to Ukraine for piping natural gas to Europe, and that dependence on the pipeline will weaken the impact of western sanctions on Moscow.

Altmaier has said he is optimistic that a "substantial" amount of gas will continue to flow through Ukraine when the Baltic pipeline starts operating.

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