Head of the Bundestag Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy, Klaus Ernst, has stated that US sanctions introduced against the Nord Stream 2 project are no longer an economic issue, but a matter that directly concerns German sovereignty.
Ernst has called on Germany to stop "babbling" when responding to threats of American sanctions and start taking action instead. The German lawmaker suggested introducing penalties against those US Senators who supported a new bill to sanction Nord Stream 2.
The chairman added that a broad consensus exists among members of the Bundestag committee that the pipeline should be completed and that US sanctions against it are unacceptable.
The US continues to pressure Germany to ditch the Nord Stream 2 project claiming that it will deepen the country's dependency on Russian gas, despite Berlin diversifying its supplies. President Donald Trump has suggested that Germany should buy more expensive American or Israeli liquefied natural gas (LNG) instead.
After Berlin and other EU countries interested in the project disregarded Washington's demands, the US introduced sanctions against companies directly involved in the pipeline's construction. Following this, the company Allseas on 21 December announced that its pipelaying ships would no longer be participating in the venture’s construction due to American sanctions.
According to data from maritime monitoring services, the Russian gas giant Gazprom, the biggest shareholder in the operating company Nord Stream AG, has sent its own pipelaying ship to the port closest to the pipeline's construction site. In an apparent bid to prevent the ship, Akademik Cherskiy, from finishing the nearly completed pipeline US Senators introduced a new sanctions bill on 4 June that would allow companies to be sanctioned for issuing insurance to the vessels working on Nord Stream 2.