British lawmaker Daniel Kawczynski has accused Germany of betraying Europe over Berlin's stance on the US sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.
In an interview with the Express on Monday, he said that he had discussed "the importance of this problem with [Prime Minister] Boris Johnson in the past and earlier this year, I pressed the government to act".
The MP added that ministers had informed him that "we can’t impose unilateral sanctions because, during the transition period, Britain is still bound to Brussels’ sanction regime" and that "it is therefore more important than ever that the prime minister does not extend it".
"We have a duty to our NATO allies, especially those on the front line in Eastern Europe, to take back control of our foreign policy, reinforce the American sanction regime, and make sure that Nord Stream 2 is never completed", Kawczynski said, adding that "the fate of more than one nation may depend on it".
"Now that we have finally left the European Union, it’s time for United Kingdom to step up and help to kill this [Nord Stream 2] project off once and for all", he pointed out.
According to the MP, it is "difficult to overstate the scale of the betrayal this pipeline represents", describing Germany as a NATO member, "committed to the defence of the continent against potential Russian meddling and influence".
“Every euro Germany spends importing Russian gas is money that can be spent on building a diversified energy and oil sector in Europe. Worse, binding Germany's industrial power into Vladimir Putin's energy network leaves the EU's pre-eminent member state increasingly exposed to Russian influence – and dependent on Russian goodwill. This is extraordinary conduct by a supposedly allied nation", the lawmaker asserted.
The remarks followed the German government's announcement last week that it is not planning to respond to any US sanctions placed on Nord Stream 2 and that "countermeasures to sanctions can only be introduced in agreement with the European Union".
They also underscored that "the federal government does not share the view that German policy towards Nord Stream 2 threatens NATO".
The statement came as a group of US senators confirmed that they planned to introduce legislation expanding sanctions on Nord Stream 2 after President Donald Trump voiced his approval to levy the sanctions against the project in February.
Merkel Touts Nord Stream 2 as ‘Very Important’ Project
During a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel lauded Nord Stream 2 as a "very important" project that will benefit not only Germany, but many other European countries, calling to complete the pipeline regardless of US sanctions threats.
Putin, for his part, underlined that Russia could complete Nord Stream 2 on its own and that the only issue in this regard was timing.
The statement was preceded by Washington slapping sanctions against the project to target any company or individual involved in providing services on the pipeline, and threatening to revoke their American visas and freeze their financial assets in the US.
Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture between Russian energy giant Gazprom and five European companies, including France's ENGIE, Austria's OMV, the UK-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell, as well as Germany's Uniper and Wintershall.
The 1,198-km (745-mile) twin gas pipeline will carry up to 55 billion cubic metres (1.942 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas per year from Russia to Germany, bypassing the existing route through Ukraine and Poland.