MOSCOW (Sputnik) – US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell sent letters to a number of German companies, hinting at the possibility of US sanctions on those supporting the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction project, the Bild newspaper reported on Sunday.
“As you are aware, the United States strongly opposes Nord Stream 2… The pipeline poses serious geopolitical consequences to our European allies and partners. Our concerns are widely shared. Eastern European members of the EU, many governments in Western Europe and Canada are all opposed to the project. These partners share our deep concerns about Russia’s increasingly aggressive behavior, especially Moscow’s use of energy resources as political and economic leverage,” the ambassador’s letter, photocopy of which was published by the newspaper, says.
Grenell urged the companies to consider the danger of the project to European energy security, as well as reputational costs and the risk of sanctions associated with this.
The publication believes that such letters were sent to a number of companies that saw them as pressure.
The letter should not be perceived as a threat, but as a clear expression of US policy, the ambassador’s spokesperson told the publication, commenting on the issue.
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Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russian gas giant Gazprom and five European companies. It aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters (1.9 trillion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas annually to the European Union via the Baltic Sea and Germany. The pipeline project has been welcomed by some countries in Europe and opposed by others that feel it might increase their dependence on Russian gas.
The United States has been strongly opposing this project. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in this regard that US President Donald Trump was pursuing the interests of US business in the supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe.