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US Anti-Russia Sanctions Threaten EU Energy Security - German Official

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The United States' newly proposed sanctions against Russia, which target the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, pose a threat to the European Union's energy security, member of the Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs Gernot Erler said Wednesday.

Prior to the grand opening ceremony of the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the German town of Lubmin. - Sputnik International
EU Business Interests, Energy Security 'Directly Hit' by New US Sanctions
BERLIN (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives approved a bill reinforcing sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea in an overwhelming 419-3 vote. This was done without prior consultations with the European Union. If signed by President Donald Trump, the new sanctions bill may impose penalties on European companies involved in the construction or operation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

"Abandonment of the Nord Stream 2 project is spelled out in the text of the bill, but in fact, any project in the EU-Russian cooperation in the field of the energy security… may be subjected to sanctions, including pipelines' repair works, on which the EU energy security depends," Erler told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper.

Erler noted that Washington's initiative to protect its own labor market had "nothing to do with the sanctions regime based on the shared values with its partners."

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He stressed that while Washington and Brussels used to coordinate the West's joint response to Moscow's alleged interference in Ukrainian crisis, the United States has "left this coordination partnership."

Nord Stream 2 is a major pipeline project aimed at increasing the capacity of the already functioning Nord Stream, which exports Russian natural gas through the Baltic Sea to many European consumers.

Nord Stream 2, constructed by Russia's Gazprom in cooperation with France's Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, Royal Dutch Shell, Germany's Uniper and Wintershall, aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the European Union across the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing Ukraine.

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