Expert comments on possible answer of Germany on the “Nord Stream – 2”

Germany’s response to possible US sanctions against Nord Stream-2 is limited, it may be about supporting its own companies affected by the restrictions, but not real counter-sanctions, which can only be decided by the EU, German political scientist Alexander Rar told the reporters.

Expert comments on possible answer of Germany on the "Nord Stream - 2"

German authorities are preparing a response if the White House imposes additional sanctions against the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline, Bloomberg reported earlier, citing government sources in Berlin. In an internal document of the German Ministry of Economy, it says that new US sanctions can affect a significant number of European companies and banks, as well as government organizations. In response, the government of Angela Merkel is considering a plan for coordinated action by the European Union, the agency said.

“There is an assumption that in Germany a law will be enforced restricting extraterritorial sanctions. It has already been enforced in the situation with Iran, when the German government used this law to protect its companies. Formally, it provides for fines companies that follow extraterritorial sanctions. Thus, companies receive protection on the basis that they are obliged to focus on German national legislation in this matter”, – the expert explained.

According to Rahr, an obstacle to the implementation of this plan may arise due to the fact that Poland recently introduced a draft law to the European Commission, according to which US sanctions mechanisms should automatically be distributed in the EU. This demonstrates the “absolute split of Europeans in the matter of cooperation with the United States”, the expert added.

“Sanctions against the United States, as well as against Russia or Iran, can only be implemented today on behalf of the entire EU. It is extremely difficult for Germany to adopt sanctions against the United States through national legislation. But there are countries in the EU, such as Poland, that are ready to take the position of the USA”, – said Rahr.

“The contents of this package of measures will not be known until the last, so as not to wake up a sleeping dog. It will be open to talk about retaliatory measures if President Donald Trump really launches this rude sanctions mechanism against German and European companies. At present, this bill is still in the White House, it’s not signed”, – he added.

Nord Stream-2 involves the construction of two pipelines of a gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea to Germany. The United States is actively opposing the project, promoting its liquefied natural gas in the EU, as well as Ukraine and several European countries. The states imposed sanctions on the project in December, requiring construction companies to stop construction immediately. Swiss Allseas almost immediately announced the suspension of the gas pipeline. The Russian Federation has repeatedly stated that the project is commercial and beneficial to Europe.

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