US warns of sanctions for Nord Stream work
THE US ambassador to Germany has warned companies involved in the construction of the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that they could face sanctions if they stick to the project, a senior US official said yesterday.
US President Donald Trump has accused Germany of being a “captive” of Moscow due to its reliance on Russian energy and urged it to halt work on the US$11 billion gas pipeline.
The pipeline, which would carry gas straight to Germany under the Baltic Sea, is driving a wedge between Germany and its allies as it would deprive Ukraine of the lucrative gas transit fees it currently enjoys.
US Ambassador Richard Grenell addressed the issue in a letter sent to several companies, the US Embassy said.
“The letter reminds that any company operating in the Russian energy export pipeline sector is in danger under CAATSA of US sanctions,” the spokesman said, adding that other European states also opposed the planned pipeline.
Germany and other European allies accuse Washington of using its Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act to meddle in other counties’ foreign and energy policies due to its extraterritorial effect.
There was no immediate reaction to Grenell’s remarks from the German government and firms participating in Nord Stream 2.
Germany and Russia have been at odds since Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. But they have a common interest in the Nord Stream 2 project, which is expected to double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream 1 route.
German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, first to report on the letter, said Grenell was trying to blackmail German companies.
Swiss offshore service provider Allseas’ “Audacia” lays pipes for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in this file photo. The US warned foreign firms of possible sanctions over the Russianbacked pipeline, which Berlin is also supporting. — AFP