US preparing further sanctions against Nord Stream 2 pipeline





Berlin - The United States is preparing further sanctions in its campaign against the launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, the US ambassador to Germany said in a newspaper interview.



Richard Grenell, who is to leave his post as ambassador in the coming weeks, told Wednesday's Handelsblatt newspaper he had met senators and lawmakers to discuss the issue. "Further sanctions are met with cross-party support," he added.
Grenell warned that the necessary legislation could come swiftly and urged the German government to change its policies on cooperating with Russia.
"Germany must stop feeding the beast while simultaneously not paying enough for NATO," he told the business daily.
Grenell is fiercely loyal to US President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly hit out at Berlin over the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline and for not spending enough on defence.
US sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 project were adopted in late 2019, delaying the project's completion, originally set for late last year.
Washington warns that the pipeline will make the European Union dependant on Russian gas - concerns that have also been shared by Ukraine and some EU member states such as Poland.
The Handelsblatt report does not specify what form further sanctions would take.
A spokeswoman for the Nord Stream 2 corporation said the sanctions threats would amount to unlawful discrimination against European companies.
In comments to Russian news agency TASS, she said extraterritorial
sanctions were a breach of international law.
A spokeswoman for German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told Handelsblatt: "The time in which the coronavirus pandemic is putting countries across the globe under immense pressure is not the time to further escalate and threaten with further extraterritorial, that is, illegal sanctions."

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Wednesday, May 27th 2020
(dpa)
           


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