In an article published in the German newspaper Die Welt on Saturday, Bundestag (Germany’s lower house of parliament) head Wolfgang Schaeuble specifically warned against attempts to disrupt the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
He noted that ignoring the position of Germany’s eastern neighbours “is not one of the highlights of German politics” and that it “has destroyed much trust”.
At the same time, Schaeuble warned that “sabotaging the project in a roundabout way is not a sensible solution from a pan-European perspective.”
The statement comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed during a joint press conference with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda late last month that the Nord Stream 2 project poses a threat to all of Europe.
Zelensky called for diversifying energy sources and signalled Kiev’s interest in participating in regional energy projects in Poland.
US Mulls Slapping Sanctions on Nord Stream 2
The remarks come after US President Donald Trump said in June that he was considering a plan to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2, arguing that Washington was “protecting” Germany from becoming over-reliant on Russia by opposing the project.
“Germany is making a tremendous mistake by relying so heavily on the pipeline. […]It’s a tremendous amount of their energy that will be supplied by that pipeline,” he claimed.
Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the European Commission would be unable to prevent Nord Stream 2 from going ahead.
Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture between Russian gas giant Gazprom and five European companies, France's ENGIE, Austria's OMV, British-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, and Germany's Uniper and Wintershall. Gazprom recently said that more than 76 percent of the pipeline has been completed.
The project, due to be finished before the end of this year, is set to deliver Russian gas to Germany through the Baltic Sea.
Apart from the US and Ukraine, Nord Stream 2 is opposed by Poland and the Baltic States which are concerned over the alleged danger of Europe becoming dependent on Russian gas and Ukraine having its transit role reduced as a result. Moscow has repeatedly said that the pipeline is a purely commercial project, while pointing out that Washington is trying to exert pressure on the EU so as to promote its own LNG exports.