French Company Slams US Sanctions on Nord Stream-2 Backfiring on EU, Germany

© Sputnik / Grigoriy Sisoev / Go to the mediabankPrior to the grand opening ceremony of the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the German town of Lubmin.
Prior to the grand opening ceremony of the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the German town of Lubmin. - Sputnik International
Possible US sanctions against the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline projects are an "unacceptable" interference in the European affairs, as the United States is not involved in this project, Isabel Kocher, CEO of French energy company Engie said.

Nord Stream gas pipeline launched in Germany - Sputnik International
Germany, Austria Lash Back at US Move to Tighten Sanctions on Russia
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On June 15, the US Senate approved new sanctions against Russia over its alleged meddling in the US presidential election in 2016. In particular, it is supposed to limit the financing period for sanctioned Russian banks to 14 days, and for sanctioned oil and gas sector companies to 30 days. The bill also presupposes the possibility of sanctions against persons who intend to invest more than $5 million per year or $1 million at a time in the construction of Russian export pipelines or provide projects with services, technology and information support.

The bill, which is yet to be approved by both the House of Representatives and the administration of US President Donald Trump, has already prompted criticism within the European Union. Thus, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern have condemned the draft of new US sanctions, which, they said on June 15, were about "selling American liquefied natural gas and ending the supply of Russian natural gas to the European market."

"The principle of American sanctions [being levied] on a project that is not in the US, that does not involve US actors, that is not in dollars — the Europeans are right to mobilise on this subject… It is an interference in the affairs of European countries that is unacceptable," Kocher said, as quoted by the Financial Times newspaper on Monday.

Similar views were expressed by Klaus Schaefer, chief executive of German energy company Uniper.

"The proposed sanctions not only affect Russia, but also Europe and Germany… I appeal to all parties involved not to turn the project into a pawn of global politics, and to leave the problem of Europe’s energy supply to Europeans," Schaefer was quoted by the media outlet as saying.

A handout by Nord Stream 2 claims to show the first pipes for the Nord Stream 2 project at a plant of OMK, which is one of the three pipe suppliers selected by Nord Stream 2 AG, in Vyksa, Russia, in this undated photo provided to Reuters on March 23, 2017 - Sputnik International
Nord Stream 2 Depends on 'Political Bargaining' Between US, EU
In April, Gazprom's subsidiary Nord Stream 2 AG signed a deal with French Engie, UK’s Royal Dutch Shell, Austria’s OMV and Germany's Uniper and Wintershall, which agreed to provide part of long-term financing of the gas pipeline project, estimated at 9.5 billion euros ($10.6 billion).

The Nord Stream 2 project presumes the construction of two gas pipelines with a combined annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas. The new pipeline is planned to be laid along the existing Nord Stream pipeline route from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea, on to a hub in Germany.

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