US is 'More Than Trump': German Foreign Minister Amid Nord Stream 2 Row

© REUTERS / Michael Kappeler/POOLGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel meets U.S. President Donald Trump on the eve of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 6, 2017
German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets U.S. President Donald Trump on the eve of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 6, 2017 - Sputnik International
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The US President has repeatedly criticised German business for participating in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. In addition, he demanded that Germany urgently increase its defence spending to two percent of its GDP.

Relations between Germany and the United States continue to develop despite criticism from Washington, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was cited by Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) news agency as saying.

"I think that over the past decades, German-American ties have been expanded so much that no president alone will be able to affect them so that they could be completely destroyed," he  stressed, adding that "the United States is more than [just] Donald Trump".

READ MORE: Trump Has No Right to Meddle in Germany's Affairs Linked to Russian Gas — AfD

At the same time, Maas called on Europeans to make joint efforts to find "a new balance in relations with the United States".

Separately, he touched upon the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, which Maas said will not be damaged by US sanctions.

"No one will stop it [the project]", he said, adding that the US sanctions may prompt German companies to withdraw from the project, which will not prevent Russia from implementing the project on its own.

READ MORE: 'America the Bully': Trump Pushing Germany Toward China, Russia — Ischinger

The remarks came after US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell sent letters to a number of German companies earlier this week, hinting at the possibility of US sanctions targeting those supporting the Nord Stream project.

Bild newspaper quoted the ambassador’s spokesperson as saying that the letter should not be perceived as a threat, but as a clear expression of US policy.

In September 2018, US President Donald Trump slammed Germany for paying Russia "billions and billions of dollars" for Nord Stream 2, which he said Washington deems "inappropriate".

READ MORE: 'Not Fair': Trump Says Germany Should Spend More on Defense

The US has repeatedly warned against the construction of Nord Stream 2 and is taking measures to block the project. The CAATSA law (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act), adopted last year, stipulates a possibility of slapping unilateral sanctions on companies, which, among others, are directly involved in the Nord Stream 2 project.

US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pose during a family photo at the Greek Theatee during a G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 26, 2017. - Sputnik International
Merkel Opens Up Germany to US LNG, Yielding to Trump's Pressure – Reports
Nord Stream 2 stipulates the construction of two gas pipelines running from the Russian coast north of St. Petersburg through the Baltic Sea to a hub in northeastern Germany. The project is a joint venture between Russia's Gazprom and France's Engie, Austria's OMV AG, UK-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, as well as Germany's Uniper and Wintershall.

The pipeline, due to be put into operation in 2019, aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the European Union across the Baltic Sea to Germany.

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