A spokeswoman for the German Association of Energy and Water Industries has defended the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a project serving the economic needs of the European continent, calling its introduction a positive thing for the EU.
"Nord Stream 2 is a project of the private sector of economy. Every new introduced pipeline that delivers gas to Europe is a positive development that ensures reliable [energy] shipments", the spokeswoman said.
Sanctions Against Russian Gas Pipelines
The project encountered trouble, along with its southern "twin" - the TurkStream, as the US introduced sanctions against the pipelines on 21 December, calling the move a "pro-European" step aimed at defending the continent's energy security. However, Germany disagreed with Washington's characterisation of the move, calling it rather "interference in [Germany's] domestic affairs" and slamming extraterritorial sanctions.
Russia, which will be supplying gas via these pipelines, also criticised the American sanctions, vowing to retaliate and complete the project despite Washington's economic measures. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that the latest US actions showed that Washington can't be relied on as it "punishes closest [its] allies for solving economic problems" and "can drop out [of its promises] at any moment".
The European Commission also slammed the US for trying to punish European companies "conducting legitimate business" and promised to study possible implications that the new sanctions might have on these companies.
Fighting Russian Gas by Promoting Its Own LNG?
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly called for avoiding politicising the Nord Stream 2 project, arguing that it was devised out of economic calculations and not out of political scheming. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also defended Nord Stream as a purely economic project, not linked to European politics.