18:44 GMT08 August 2020
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    BERLIN  (Sputnik) - German businesses see Washington's statements about possible new sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for carrying Russian natural gas to Europe as unprecedented interference into the European Union's energy sovereignty, Oliver Hermes, the chairman of the German Eastern Business Association, said on Thursday.

    "The threat of immediate US sanctions on European companies engaged in the Nord Stream 2 projects manifests an incredibly low level of the Transatlantic relations. The existing exemptions are cancelled in an instant, without any consultation with European allies, and around 120 companies from 12 European countries are now under direct threat of US sanctions," Hermes said, noting that Washington's "unprecedented interference in the European energy sovereignty will result in deliveries deficit and subsequent excessive prices."

    The head of the association, representing German companies' interests in Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet states, said that "over 12 billion euros" ($13.6 billion) investment in the Nord Stream 2 is now under threat.

    "The US undermines free and fair competition and uses sanctions for protecting its economical interests. The EU has no other choice but to cautiously react to this extortion attempt," Hermes said, calling on the EU to "promptly come up with a tough set of measures."

    The German-Russian trade loses almost 20 billion euros annually due to the EU sanctions on Russia, Hermes recalled, expressing the belief that new sanctions would be "absolutely inappropriate."

    Tags:
    European Union, Russia, sanctions, United States, Nord Stream 2, Germany
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