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German Committee on Eastern Europe slams US plans on sanctions against Nord Stream 2

December 11, 2019/ 11:09

Moscow. German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations regards Washington’s sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as an attack on the sovereignty of the European Union and an unfavorable signal for the Paris agreements to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. This is according to a statement of the committee released.

"If it comes to sanctions, it will be a direct attack on the sovereignty of the European Union and a fatal signal for Paris’s efforts to achieve peace," said the committee’s Chairman Oliver Hermes.

"An attempt of influence from the part of the United States would not only be an unfriendly act, it would inflict enormous damage on transatlantic relations built on mutual respect," he added.

Hermes stressed that in terms of the legal framework, the EU fulfilled all the conditions and has all the necessary permits for the project, informs TASS. According to the Committee’s statement, Washington’s sanctions aimed at the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline may throw into question the implementation of joint projects with Berlin for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG). "The Americans want to sell LNG to Europe, the construction of the corresponding terminals is also planned in Germany. If the pressure aimed at competitors on the market intensifies, the enthusiasm for joint projects with the U.S. may vanish," Hermes said.

The Committee also highlights that US sanctions against Nord Stream 2 "are again taken without consultation and against the voiced will of the most important European allies." Such actions harm the image of the United States in Europe, German industrialists say. The Committee warned that rising tensions between Washington and Moscow would result in higher energy prices for consumers in Europe. "Markets will respond to tensions accordingly," Hermes predicts.

"We have already seen this when the US imposed sanctions on Russian aluminum producers in April 2018 without discussing it with the EU. Then the price hike was so high that the sanctions were consequently lifted." On Monday, it became known that the US legislators obliged the administration to impose sanctions on the Russian gas pipelines (Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream), in order to ensure "European energy security."

The Nord Stream 2 project will consist of two gas pipelines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. The cost of construction is estimated at 9.5 bln euros. The TurkStream project envisages the construction of a gas pipeline across the Black Sea to the European part of Turkey and farther to the border with Greece. Gas deliveries via the first stretch of the gas pipeline are designed to meet the requirements of the growing Turkish market, while the second stretch is planned to deliver gas to the countries of Southern and South-Eastern Europe. The commissioning of the second line of TurkStream is planned for 2019. Founded in 1952, the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations represents the interests of the German economy in the states of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The committee, headquartered in Berlin, brought together more than 200 enterprises, primarily medium-sized businesses, as well as large industrial unions.

 

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