German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned against politicizing the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, saying that construction of it should be finished, despite US attempts to derail the energy project.
“Our opinion is that Nord Stream 2 should be completed,” Merkel said on Friday. She added that the project is of a purely economic nature and should not be linked to the situation with Russian anti-corruption activist leader Alexey Navalny, who is currently undergoing treatment in Germany after an alleged poisoning.
The pipeline, designed to boost gas supplies to Germany and other European states by 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year, is currently nearing completion in the Baltic Sea. Russia had to dispatch its own vessels to lay the final kilometers of the route, after the Swiss-Dutch company Allseas withdrew its ships over the threat of US sanctions.
“We are also against the extraterritorial sanctions that the United States of America has imposed,” the German chancellor told reporters.
The Trump administration has threatened to expand its measures against Nord Stream 2. US lawmakers want to target its investors, insurance companies, as well as Germany’s Mukran Port on the Baltic Sea, where the construction vessels are stationed.
Berlin has repeatedly denounced Washington’s attempts to meddle with its energy policy. Some German politicians said that the government should come up with retaliatory measures. In a recent interview to RT Deutsch, the head of the German Energy Committee, Klaus Ernst, said that Washington’s sanctions that violate international law are a matter of concern for the whole European Union. He warned that Berlin may even take the issue of US threats over Nord Stream 2 to the UN.
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