In an interview with Fox News, US President Donald Trump admitted that that Germany has the right to participate in the Nord Stream-2 project.
When asked about Germany's decision to build the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline along with Russia's Gazprom, Trump stressed that it is Berlin's choice, but that doing so will be a tricky task for Germany, given its membership in NATO.
The remarks came shortly after Trump's joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, following their high-level talks in Helsinki, where the US leader specifically focused on Nord Stream 2-related issues.
"We are going to be selling LNG [liquefied natural gas] and will have to be competing with the [Nord Stream 2] pipeline and I think we'll compete successfully, although there is a little advantage locationally," Trump pointed out.
During his meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg last week, Trump claimed that it's inappropriate that Germany was "making massive oil and gas deals with Russia," adding that "Germany is totally controlled" by Moscow.
Earlier, Trump demanded that the German government drop the Nord Stream 2 project in order to clinch a trade deal with Washington, which would not include high aluminum and steel tariffs.
Washington has repeatedly warned European countries not to take part in Nord Stream 2, threatening to impose sanctions on European energy companies involved in the project. According to Washington, Nord Stream 2 violates the energy security of the EU and also undermines the interests of Ukraine.
Germany, Sweden, and Finland have already given permission for the pipeline's construction in their territorial waters; the only country, which remains undecided is Denmark.
The project is a joint venture between Russia's Gazprom and France's Engie, Austria's OMV AG, UK-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, as well as Germany's Uniper and Wintershall.
The pipeline, due to be put into operation in 2019, aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the European Union across the Baltic Sea to Germany.