Former Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schroeder said Saturday that the US has its own energy interests in Europe, which explains the pressure Washington is exerting on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. However, Berlin must decide on its own, with whom it wants to conduct business he told Welt am Sonntag.
"They [US] do that not out of love for Ukraine, but because they themselves want to ship gas to Germany. The liquefied gas [LNG] is more expensive and has lower quality than the one provided via a pipeline", the social-democrat politician said in an interview with the newspaper.
"Iran, China, Russia — if it goes on like this, soon, we will not be allowed to have economic relationships with anyone at all", he said.
"For a country as dependent on export as Germany, this is unacceptable. Despite all our respect and friendship, we have to tell this to the Americans", he added.
He underscored that he is not an anti-US politician, but during his time as a chancellor, his foreign policy did aim at securing a certain independence from the US and keep it that way.
The Nord Stream 2 project involves the construction of two gas pipelines from Russia to Germany with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year. The pipeline, which will go through the Baltic Sea, is estimated to cost some 9.5 billion euros. It is expected to be launched before the end of 2019.
Ukraine, which hosts one of the main international gas pipelines from Russia to Europe, and which benefits significantly from the gas transit fees, has repeatedly objected to the construction of Nord Stream 2, saying it will threaten its energy security.