Head of German Foreign Ministry evaluates refusal of a number of companies from Nord Stream-2

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas criticized the extraterritorial sanctions imposed by the United States against Nord Stream-2 and told how the Biden administration’s actions regarding the project differ from the policies of their predecessors.

“In our vision, these sanctions, which are extraterritorial, are wrong. We have talked about this again and again in the past”, – Maas told ntv.

He said that the topic of sanctions will be discussed with the Joe Biden administration.

“We will talk about this with each other — and this is the difference with the previous government. Then we learned about everything only from the media and did not discuss it with each other”, – the German Foreign Minister said.

At the same time, the diplomat did not specify when exactly these consultations will take place. Maas noted that he understands the decision of some companies to withdraw from the project due to the threat of sanctions.

On the impact of these events on the commissioning of the Nord Stream — 2, the minister spoke with restraint:

“Whether it will be, will be decided in the coming weeks and months. Now no one can say it in advance”.

Nord Stream-2 involves the construction of two gas pipeline lines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. It will also pass through the territorial waters or exclusive economic zones of Finland, Sweden and Denmark.The project is being implemented by Nord Stream AG with Gazprom as its sole shareholder. European partners-Royal Dutch Shell, OMV, Engie, Uniper and Wintershall-financed the construction by half.

The construction of the pipeline is opposed by the United States, which is trying to impose on Europe the supply of its liquefied natural gas. Also, one of the opponents of the project is Ukraine — in Kiev, they are afraid of losing revenue from the transit of “blue fuel” from Russia. The authorities of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia consider Nord Stream-2 a political project and also actively criticize it.

In December 2019, the US Senate passed the defense budget, which provided for sanctions against the companies involved in the project. For this reason, construction stopped, as the Swiss Allseas, which was engaged in laying pipes, immediately stopped work.

A year later, work resumed: Nord Stream AG continued the construction of a gas pipeline in the exclusive economic zone of Germany with the help of the vessel “Fortuna”.

At the same time, on January 1, the Senate adopted the defense budget for 2021, which involves expanding sanctions against the project. The measures apply to organizations that have provided services for testing, inspection, or certification. Because of this, the Norwegian company DNV GL and the Danish consulting firm Rambøll announced their withdrawal from the project. On Tuesday, the US authorities imposed restrictive measures against the ship Fortuna and its owner — the company”KVT-Rus”.

Of the total length of the two strands of 2,460 kilometers, about 148 kilometers of pipes remain to be laid to complete the project: 120 kilometers in the waters of Denmark and 28 in the waters of Germany.


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