Nord Stream spokesman sees US threats of sanctions as discrimination of European companies
Moscow. Any threat of US sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project constitutes unlawful discrimination against European companies, Nord Stream 2 AG spokesperson Jens Muller told TASS on Tuesday.
"Nord Stream 2 and the companies supporting the project continue to believe that the soonest possible commissioning of the pipeline is in the interest of Europe’s energy security, European consumers, EU economic competitiveness, and climate protection commitments," the spokesperson said, adding that the company would not speculate on further possible actions of other states.
"Any such threat with sanctions is an unlawful discrimination against European companies," he said.
In an interview with the Handelsblatt newspaper published earlier on Tuesday, US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell confirmed Washington’s plans to impose new sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 project.
Muller said that Nord Stream 2 agreed with the European Commission that extraterritorial sanctions were a breach of international law and that EU policies and practices should not be determined by them.
The spokesman also cited a statement of the spokesperson of the German Minister of Economy Peter Altmaier, quoted in the same Handelsblatt article.
"Currently the Corona pandemic puts a huge pressure on the countries around this globe. This is not the right time to escalate the sanctions spiral by threatening new exterritorial sanctions in violation of international law," the statement says.
The Nord Stream 2 project involves construction of two lines with a total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters of gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. Gazprom’s European partners in the project are German Uniper and Wintershall, Austrian OMV, French Engie and Anglo-Dutch Shell. The pipeline bypasses transit states - Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, and other East European and Baltic countries - through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany.
Gazprom expects the pipeline to be launched at the end of 2020. The project is 93% completed to date.
The Switzerland-based Allseas, which laid pipes for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, suspended its pipelay activities and withdrew vessels involved in the project due to the threat of the US’ sanctions in late December 2019.