The Chairman of the Bundestag’s economic and energy Committee, Klaus Ernst (representative of the Left party), called on senators and members of the House of Representatives to refrain from the planned tightening of US sanctions against the almost completed “Nord stream-2” gas pipeline. This is reported by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
“As elected representatives of the American people, you undoubtedly and rightfully resist all attempts to interfere in the internal Affairs of Texas, Wisconsin, or Pennsylvania. Europe, in turn, expects that you will respect the decisions that were taken democratically within the European Union,” Ernst said in the address, which is available to the publication.
The object of the dispute is a bill that, according to the German Federal government, may still prevent the completion of construction and commissioning of the “Nord stream-2,” the newspaper notes. It involves the tightening of already existing sanctions. The changes will create a threat to European companies, insurance firms, and even officials by blocking their accounts and banning them from entering countries that are US allies. The target of sanctions may be any person who can be considered at least indirectly responsible for the completion of the gas pipeline, through which Russian gas should go to Germany. In the US, the bill is supported by both Republicans and Democrats.
“The extraterritorial application of US sanctions undermines the transatlantic partnership and damages the reputation of the US and the US economy in the EU,” Ernst warns in an address to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the heads of several committees and the authors of the bill.
Accusations that the pipeline will lead to Germany’s dependence on Russia are unfounded, Ernst claims. The Federal government has also responded to concerns, including support for the construction of an LNG terminal (liquefied natural gas that can be supplied in large quantities from the US). This terminal should promote diversification. Also, the Federal government “very actively and successfully” advocated the conclusion of a new five-year agreement on the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine.
“The conflict over “Nord Stream-2″ turns into a conflict between the Bundestag and the US Congress,” the South German newspaper concludes.
Recall that Russia’s intention to complete the Baltic gas pipeline independently angered American parliamentarians, who made sure that the new sanctions were included in the draft defense budget of the United States. In December last year, the first US restrictions on the project for pipelayers appeared, and Allseas vessels participating in it left the Baltic Sea. Gazprom, however, has begun to pull Russian pipe-laying companies up for completion. In early May, the Akademik Chersky arrived at the German port of Mukran from Nakhodka. He joined the fortune pipelayer already there. For the United States, which claimed that Russia would not be able to complete the gas pipeline, this was an unpleasant surprise.
The main work on completing “Nord stream-2” may begin in the autumn. First, the planned retrofitting of the Akademik Chersky will take several months. Second, the project operator Nord Stream 2 AG has yet to submit an updated work plan and agree with the Danish Energy Agency (DEA). And also, the DEA permit States that in July and August, cod spawn in the Bornholm island area, and for two months, all work it is prohibited.
To complete the pipeline, it remains to lay about 160 km in the Baltic Sea. Postponing the start of work to the autumn will delay the launch of the gas pipeline, but it is well within the deadline set by Russian President Vladimir Putin: at the end of 2020 — the first quarter of 2021.