BERLIN (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the head of Ukraine’s energy company Naftogaz Andriy Kobolyev told The Wall Street Journal that Russia's Nord Stream 2 project undermined US interests and urged the United States to impose sanctions on all companies participating in the construction of the gas pipeline.
"In this dispute, commercial interests are hidden behind the tactics of political intimidation. Commercial competition should be based on equal partnership, and not on pushing the Nord Stream 2 toward other rules, different from those which all similar projects complied with," Mueller said.
Mueller noted that Nord Stream 2 was a competitive contribution to European energy security that also benefited its consumers.
The decision has already prompted criticism in the European Union, with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern accusing the United States of attempting to squeeze out supplies of Russian natural gas to the European market and promote US liquefied gas supplies, which will undermine European companies. The two officials stressed that the issue of energy supplies to Europe was the European Union's own business and the United States should not interfere.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline 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. Among the participating companies are E.ON, BASF, Wintershall and others. The pipeline's launch is planned for 2018.