German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has slammed US plans to sanction Nord Stream-2.
"Decisions on European Energy Policy are taken in Europe. We reject foreign interference and, as matter of principle, extraterritorial sanctions." - Foreign Minister @HeikoMaas on possible US sanctions against @NordStream2— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) December 12, 2019
Meanwhile, the German Economic Committee has condemned the sanctions against Nord Stream 2 as an "insult to European sovereignty" and "inadmissible meddling".
"The introduction of these sanctions will create considerable pressure on the trans-Atlantic relations," the committee stated.
A faction of Germany's Left Party has called on the government to respond to Washington's sanctions targeting the Nord Stream 2 by imposing countermeasures, including tariffs on the US liquefied natural gas (LNG).
"The government should immediately react, using all the available diplomatic measures and targeted measures, to the threat of the US sanctions on the Nord Stream 2. Apart from other things, it should impose import tariffs on the US liquefied gas," lawmaker Klaus Ernst said in a press release.
The US House and Senate Armed Services Committees have agreed on a 2020 defence budget which envisages funds for "countering Russia" in various domains. In particular, the agreed draft law provides for sanctions over the construction of the Nord Stream-2 and Turkish Stream gas pipelines. The document is awaiting the signature of the US President.
The Nord Stream-2 project involves the construction of two gas pipelines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea to Germany. It was supposed to be completed in 2019. The pipeline will pass through territorial waters or the exclusive economic zones of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
Ukraine is actively opposing Nord Stream-2 amid fears of losing revenue from Russian gas transit. A number of European countries, including Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as the United States, which is promoting sales of its own liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to the EU, are also opposing the project.
They call the project political and say it is threatening energy security in Europe. The Russian side has repeatedly stated that Nord Stream-2 is absolutely commercial and competitive, and has indicated that it does not entail a suspension of Russian gas transit through Ukraine to the EU.