Merkel ally calls for moratorium on Nord Stream 2 construction

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Merkel ally calls for moratorium on Nord Stream 2 construction

A German government spokesman said the project prevents the restart of transatlantic relations

German government transatlantic cooperation coordinator Peter Bayer on Wednesday called for a moratorium on the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, contradicting the position of many members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

The United States opposes the project, saying it will increase Europe’s dependence on Russian energy, and President Joe Biden has warned of possible sanctions.

“This project is a major obstacle to restarting transatlantic relations,” Bayer said in an interview with WirtschaftsWoche magazine.

“The Americans expect us not only to change our rhetoric but also to act. Therefore, I am in favor of a moratorium on the construction of Nord Stream 2, ”added the coordinator, who is a member of the CDU, a conservative party to which Merkel belongs.

Berlin hoped that the Biden administration would take a softer stance than the previous one, including due to the fact that the construction of the pipeline is almost complete.

However, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned that sanctions against project participants are likely.

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Russia and Germany say the $ 11 billion projects, led by the Russian state energy company Gazprom, is predominantly commercial.