“It’s an attack on the economy of Europe”, – Schroeder on new sanctions for Nord Stream 2.
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder described the new sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which the US is preparing as “a deliberate termination of the transatlantic partnership”.
According to the Handelsblatt newspaper, Schroeder will speak at an open hearing of the Bundestag Committee on Economy and Energy on Wednesday, July 1. The newspaper quotes excerpts from the future statement of the former chancellor.
The meeting will focus on the energy sovereignty of Europe and Germany, including the discussion of “Nord Stream – 2”.
Schroeder said in a statement that the sanctions bill, which is currently being discussed in the U.S. Congress, is “a widespread, unjustifiable attack on the European economy and an unacceptable interference with EU sovereignty and energy security in Western Europe.
Schroeder is chairman of the shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream AG, which is building Gazprom’s gas pipeline.
According to him, the sanctions will directly affect more than 120 companies in the fields of shipbuilding, engineering, environmental protection and safety that work or have worked with Nord Stream 2. “For each of these companies there are European jobs that are in danger”, – he stressed.
According to Schröder, the new restrictive measures against the pipeline will be followed by significant financial losses.
In particular, he believes that €12 billion worth of investments in European infrastructure will be jeopardized and consumers in Europe will face additional costs of up to €4 billion per year.
On June 30, a group of American senators proposed to include additional sanctions against the “Nord Stream – 2” in the U.S. defense budget for the 2020/21 fiscal year, which begins on October 1. According to the authors of the initiative, this will accelerate the possible adoption of restrictions, because unlike the usual bill, which is considered for a long time, the military budget is guaranteed to be approved annually in autumn.
Senators believe that an amendment should be made to last year’s law on sanctions against Nord Stream 2, which became part of the defense budget. Once passed, the contractor Allseas has notified its pipe-laying vessels of the project.
The authors of the initiative propose to extend the scope of potential restrictive measures from vessels that directly “lay pipes” in water depths from 100 feet (30.5 m) for the Nord Stream 2 or Turkish Stream pipelines to vessels that “lay pipes or carry out pipe-laying activities” (at the same depth).
Sanctions may be imposed on foreign individuals, companies and their managers who provide insurance risk assessment services or insurance to ships involved in laying pipes for the pipeline, as well as on those who provide “testing, inspection and certification” services necessary for its operation.
In early June, the same senators introduced a separate sanctions project against participants in the Nord Stream-2 construction. The German government expressed concern that the measures would affect the country’s public services in any way related to the project, as well as German companies.
The Nord Stream – 2 gas pipeline project envisages construction of two strings of more than 1.2 thousand kilometers each on the Baltic Sea bottom. They will supply gas to Germany via the offshore areas of Russia, Germany, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Apart from Gazprom, companies from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and France have invested in the project: OMV, Wintershall Dea, Uniper, Shell and Engie. “Gazprom plans to launch Nord Stream 2 later this year.