Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated the government’s determination to complete the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia, despite US attempts to kill the project.
Merkel visited her constituency in northern Germany when she spoke about the sanctions Washington has imposed on companies connected to the Baltic Sea pipeline, which, when completed, will deliver natural gas to Germany and the wider European market.
“We do not consider these extraterritorial sanctions, ie those that go beyond US territory, to be legal,” said Merkel in Stralsund.
Nord Stream 2 plays an important role in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which is home to Merkel’s constituency.
For example, the pipes that are needed in the current construction of the project are shipped from the small port of Sassnitz. And when it’s ready, the Russian gas should finally arrive in the coastal city of Lubmin.
The US says the pipeline will increase the European Union’s dependence on Russia for the raw material, giving Moscow greater political leverage on the continent and a tool to potentially cut energy supplies.
Critics accuse the US of forcing its ally Germany to buy natural gas from the US at a higher price than from Russia.
The US began imposing sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 project last year, which directly targeted the construction of the underwater pipeline.
Last month, three Republican senators wrote a letter to the port operator in Sassnitz warning that “devastating” sanctions could be imposed on the provision of goods, services and support for the pipeline. These so-called secondary sanctions could mean economic ruin for the port.