MOSCOW (Sputnik) – As the United States continues to ramp up its sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, German lawmakers said that Washington is attacking the project to further its economic agenda.
The US Treasury on Monday added Russia’s Fortuna pipe-laying vessel and its owner KVT-RUS to yet another sanction regime intended to prevent the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas-exporting route. On the same day, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that the US continued reviewing entities that might be involved in sanctionable activity related to the construction of Nord Stream 2, saying that it was concerned that the pipeline would serve as leverage against the country’s European allies.
On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova blasted the US State Department for its negative attitude toward the project, recalling that Germany itself says that it will benefit from the pipeline.
Her sentiments have been echoed by German lawmakers.
Kotre’s fellow party member from the foreign committee, Waldemar Herdt, agrees that the US is pursuing its own economic interests, related to its export of liquefied natural gas, while also trying to undermine the relations between Moscow and Berlin.
Will US Convince Germany to See Things Its Way?
So far, Germany has been walking a thin line, trying to both appease its main geopolitical partner, as well as keep the pipeline construction going. However, with Washington continuing to apply pressure and some German politicians, including Norbert Rottgen, who chairs Bundestag foreign affairs committee, proposing to include Nord Stream 2 in a European response to the incident with Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, the idea that the US could persuade Berlin to sanction the pipeline becomes somewhat less far-fetched.
Meanwhile, Herdt claimed Washington was not interested in persuading, only in pressuring others to promote its economic interest.
Hansjorg Muller, a member of Bundestag’s economic affairs and energy committee from the AfD, mentioned that while even the ruling coalition lawmakers were angry with the US pressure, several officials used the Navalny situation as an excuse to stop the project.
Berlin’s Next Move
While Berlin is stuck between the rock and hard place, Washington does not show any signs of abating, meaning that the German government has to make a decision on how to approach the situation.
Kotre is also in favour of standing up to US partners on that matter.
“Any further steps taken by the USA must not be allowed to hinder the completion of the last few kilometres. The pipeline is almost complete. It would be insane to let it rot on the ocean floor now. If the US government really thinks the pipeline is a ‘bad deal’, then that is the problem for the Germans and the Europeans, not the US,” the lawmaker fired away.