Sunday 22nd November 2020
The US government wants to prevent the German-Russian Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2 by all means. And openly threatens participating European companies with sanctions. What the chairman of the Bundestag economic committee, Klaus Ernst, equates with extortion.
The chairman of the Bundestag economic committee, Klaus Ernst, has the US government’s sanction threats referred to as “Mafia methods” against German companies. The pressure exerted on the companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline reminded him of extortion, said the left-wing politician. The Americans acted according to the motto: “If you do not accept our ‘protection’, we threaten European companies with economic destruction.”
Besides, the US is really interested in exporting more of its own liquefied gas to Europe. “If the US does not move away from these Mafia methods, Europe must take countermeasures, such as impose punitive tariffs on US gas or impose sanctions on people who excel in extorting protection money,” said Ernst.
Informed about impending sanctions
A high-ranking US government official had previously said that the pressure on the European companies involved in the pipeline would be increased again. A number of companies and people have been identified who are threatened with first punitive measures under the Sanctions Act against Nord Stream 2 Those affected are currently being contacted and informed about the impending sanctions.
“The US does not want to have to impose sanctions on European companies. We are making these calls to warn them and to give them time to get out,” said the government official. The handling of activities in connection with Nord Stream 2 is not subject to sanctions.
“Instead of investing more money in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and related activities, companies would be better off using force majeure clauses to reverse their stake in Nord Stream 2,” said the government official. He did not provide any information on which companies would specifically be contacted. He called Nord Stream 2 “a geopolitical project that Russia will use to blackmail European countries”.
The US rejects the almost completed pipeline between Russia and Germany on the grounds that it makes Europe too dependent on Moscow. Proponents of the gas pipeline such as Ernst counter the Americans only wanting to sell their liquid gas better.