09:27 GMT21 January 2021
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    In mid-December, Rolf Muetzenich, leader of the German Social Democratic Party group in the Bundestag, called to set up urgent new legal protections for Nord Stream 2 in the face of US sanctions against the gas pipeline project.

    Berlin will not yield to pressure by Washington in the two's dispute over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project even after the transfer of power in the US in January, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told the news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) on Monday.

    Democrat Joe Biden's 306 votes from the US Electoral College earlier in December are set to be certified by Congress on 6 January, confirming his 3 November presidential election win – something that President Donald Trump declines to admit, claiming "voter fraud".

    Referring to Nord Stream 2, Maas underscored that Berlin "does not need to talk about European sovereignty if that is understood as us [Germany] doing everything in future the way Washington wants us to".

    Although Berlin hopes for an improvement in US-German ties under Biden, a spate of bones of contention, including the Nord Stream 2 issue, will remain, according to Maas.

    "The German government will not change its stance on Nord Stream 2", he pointed out, adding, "the important thing is that we are aligned on the central strategic and geopolitical issues, that we are on the same side of the field".

    The remarks came after the US Congress passed the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA), which among other things has paved the way for sanctions against Nord Stream 2.

    Moscow has repeatedly stressed that Washington's intention to impose sanctions against the project is nothing but unfair competition that violates international law.

    German MP Calls for Legal Protections to Ward Off US Sanctions on Nord Stream 2

    In a separate development in December, Rolf Muetzenich, the leader of the Chancellor Angela Merkel-allied Social Democrats in the Bundestag, indicated that Berlin will need to get ready for a "hard confrontation" to protect its interests by setting up urgent new legal protections for Nord Stream 2.

    This reportedly includes support for a proposal put forward by authorities in the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, the location where the Russia-originating pipeline reaches Germany, to establish a state-protected legal entity to hold assets inside a sanctions-proof foundation.

    When completed, Nord Stream 2 will be a 745-mile twin pipeline carrying about two trillion cubic feet of gas annually from Russia to Germany via the territorial waters or exclusive economic zones of Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia, and Sweden.

    The US and some of its allies in Europe have been opposing the project, claiming that it will increase European dependence on Russian gas. Moscow denies the allegations, saying this project is purely economic and urging the US not to politicise it.

    Related:

    US Lawmakers Include Expanded Nord Stream-2 Sanctions in 2021 Defense Bill
    Up to 70% Nord Stream 2 Could Be Filled by Hydrogen, German Business Lobby Confirms
    Nord Stream 2 'Will Never Carry Russian Gas', German Media Says Citing Trump Administration Official
    Tags:
    dispute, pressure, project, gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Heiko Maas, Germany, US
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