The US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, said Congress could pass new sanctions against Nord Stream 2 (Nord Stream 2).
“The new sanctions are supported by both parties. Despite the election campaign, the legislative process can go quickly,” he said in an interview with Handelsblatt.
According to the diplomat, the goal of possible sanctions is to prevent the pipe from being put into operation. How this will be implemented in practice, the ambassador did not specify, but one of the possibilities may be fines serving companies.
In an interview, Grenell also demanded that Berlin review its policy towards Russia. According to him, while Germany does not pay a sufficient amount of contributions to the NATO budget, it should not “feed the beast.”
Construction of a gas pipeline in the territorial waters of Germany
The media revealed the “only condition” to stop Nord Stream 2
The diplomat’s statements were critically received in Berlin.
“When the coronavirus pandemic puts heavy pressure on countries around the world, this is not the time to wind up the spiral of escalation and threaten further extraterritorial sanctions that violate international law,” said Peter Steinmeier, spokeswoman for the country’s economy and energy.
Grenell will soon finish his work in Berlin.
Nord Stream 2 involves the construction of two gas pipelines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea to Germany.
The United States is actively opposing the project, promoting its liquefied natural gas in the EU, as well as Ukraine and several European countries.
At the end of last year, Washington adopted a defense budget providing for sanctions against companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2.
The Swiss company Allseas, laying the gas pipeline, almost immediately stopped work.
In Germany, they said they consider Nord Stream 2 an economic project and reject extraterritorial sanctions.
The Russian ship Akademik Chersky can finish the pipe, but, according to Energy Minister Alexander Novak, its preparation will take time.