EU and Russia Angry at New Trump Sanctions
US President Donald Trump takes sanctions against companies that are working on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany. The EU and Russia are responding sharply.
“The European Union is opposed to the imposition of sanctions against European companies that perform legal activities,” said an EU spokesperson.
Russia is even angrier. “A state with a government debt of $ 22,000 billion prohibits solvent countries from developing their real economy,” says the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, who accuses Americans of thwarting “global competition.”
“They will soon ask us to stop breathing,” said the Russian spokeswoman.
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will be 1,200 kilometres long and will connect Russia directly with Germany via the Baltic Sea. The gas pipeline traverses Finnish, Swedish and Danish waters.
The project of the Russian state-owned company Gazprom has a price tag of 9.5 billion euros and is co-financed by five European energy companies, including Engie and Shell. The first gas should flow through Nord Stream 2 in the coming months. The works are already mostly finished, only in Danish waters, about 300 kilometres of pipelines have to be installed.
The United States has been against the gas pipeline for years. The country is afraid that Russian President Vladimir Putin will gain more influence in Western Europe. In addition, Nord Stream 2 ally Ukraine ignores.
The Americans have been threatening sanctions against companies involved in the construction of the pipeline for some time. They just included those sanctions in the annual defence budget (NDAA), which was given the go-ahead by the Senate earlier this week and was finally ratified on Friday.
The Allseas company has since suspended work on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline for fear of sanctions. In total, around 350 companies are involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2, but it is Allseas that is installing the last part in Danish waters.
The company responded in the night from Friday to Saturday (Belgian time) to the impending signing of the law by suspending the works. The offshore group requires clarifications from the US authorities.
Germany has “regretted” the endorsement of US sanctions, and a government spokeswoman said Saturday morning.
“The German government rejects such extra-territorial sanctions. They affect German and European companies and form an interference with our domestic affairs. ” The spokeswoman also points out that the European Commission and the German government have signed an agreement in principle for a new gas supply contract via Ukraine in 2020