Uniper CEO says US seeks to drive Russian gas out of EU market to ensure American exports
Berlin. By adopting a new sanctions law, which particularly concerns Russia, the US seeks to drive Russian gas out of the European market and ensure its own interests, German energy company Uniper’s CEO Klaus Schafer said in an interview with the Handelsblatt daily.
"The US is focused on its own interests on the energy market, creating conditions for the American gas exports," he said. "The Americans want to drive Russian gas out of the European market to create conditions for their exports," Schafer added noting that "the law clearly points it out, which makes it a manifestation of an uncompromising industrial policy."
The Uniper CEO also said that the Nord Stream 2 project may be affected by the new US sanctions. "It definitely is the sword of Damocles so we will demand clarification," he added. "We need to see what specific instructions will be issued," Schafer noted. According to him, the US sanctions could refer to the general issues of financing and investment.
"It is important that the EU and German politicians have made it clear that it cannot go on like this, as uncoordinated actions of the US and Europe are unreasonable," Schafer added. He said that "economic and energy aspects speak in favor of the Nord Stream 2 project." "Europe needs to import more gas since its own resources are running out," he said.
According to Schafer, the project’s opponents "are partly driven by commercial interests." "For instance, when a European country such as Poland speaks out against the Russian gas exports but at the same time says it wants to profit from gas transit, it is hypocrisy," Schafer said.
On August 2, US President Donald Trump signed a bill passed by the Congress, which imposes new unilateral sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. The EU is concerned over the new US sanctions as fines may be imposed on the European companies participating in joint energy projects with Russia, particularly in the Nord Stream 2 project.