Berlin, Dec 13 : German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has rejected the planned sanctions by the United States against companies working on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea.
"European energy policy is decided in Europe, not in the USA," said Maas. "We reject external intervention and sanctions with extraterritorial effects as a matter of principle." On Thursday, the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy also rejected the extraterritorial sanctions and noted that it will "closely" observe the handling of the sanctions by the US senate, Xinhua news agency reported.
US lawmakers on Monday evening reached an agreement on the 2020 National Defence Authorization Act, which would force the US administration to sanction companies involved in two Russian pipeline projects, including the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Joachim Pfeiffer, economic policy spokesperson of Germany's governing conservative union (CDU/CSU), told dpa that in order to avoid an escalation, it would now be "a matter of using the remaining opportunities in the next few hours." Bijan Djir-Sarai, foreign policy spokesperson of Germany's Free Democratic Party (FDP), told the German magazine Spiegel that the sanctions would probably prolong construction and increase cost. "But they will no longer be able to stop Nord Stream 2 as a project. It is too late for that."