Deputy government spokesperson Ulrike Demmer said on Saturday that Berlin “expressed regret over the fact that US sanctions against Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream gas pipelines have taken effect.”
The German government "rejects such extraterritorial sanctions", which “target German and European companies” and which can be seen as “interference in our domestic affairs", Demmer underscored.
She reiterated that "such US measures, which were justified primarily by the protection of Ukraine, are all the more incomprehensible" given "Thursday’s talks on Ukrainian gas transit”.
“Russia and Ukraine have clinched a fundamental agreement, which was supported by the European Commission and Berlin, on a new gas transit treaty [which will take effect in] 2020. We welcome the parties signing a concrete deal on Friday”, Demmer added.
Moscow Berates Washington for Slapping Sanction on Nord Stream 2
The statement comes as Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented on the US sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream pipelines, saying that “a state with a national debt of $22 trillion forbids creditworthy countries from developing the real sector of their economies”.
“The American ideology of life did not withstand global competition, which the US Treasury regularly confirms by issuing a new 'warrant for economic arrest'," Zakharova wrote on Facebook.
After US President Donald Trump signed on Friday the $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that includes sanctions against these two projects, the country’s Treasury Department stated that the restrictive measures took effect immediately and that Washington was demanding that construction companies stop their work.
The sanctions specifically target companies and individuals involved in providing services on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and have their US visas revoked and financial assets in the US frozen. The bill also provides for a 30-day grace period for them to wind down their operations in the project.
US Tries to Undermine Nord Stream 2 Project
Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture between the Russian energy giant Gazprom and five European companies: France's ENGIE, Austria's OMV, the UK-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell, and Germany's Uniper and Wintershall.
The pipeline is due to be finished in 2020 and will carry up to 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Russia to Germany and Central Europe, bypassing the existing route through Ukraine and Poland.
The US has repeatedly tried to undermine the project, threatening everyone involved with sanctions, while promoting its liquefied natural gas on the European market.
Ukraine is also actively opposing Nord Stream 2, as it fears it will lose revenue from Russian gas transit. Moscow says that the project is absolutely commercial and competitive, and that it does not imply the cancellation of the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine to the EU.