Germany rejects US sanctions threat over Nord Stream 2 pipeline

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has rejected the US’ latest threat to impose sanctions over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Moscow and Berlin, saying “European energy policy is made in Europe”.

“By announcing measures that will also sanction European companies, the US government is disregarding the right and sovereignty of Europe to decide where and how we source our energy,” Xinhua news agency quoted Maas as saying in a statement on Thursday.

“European energy policy is made in Europe and not in Washington. We clearly reject extraterritorial sanctions,” Maas added.

Mass said that the German government had held numerous talks with the US in recent weeks as Washington was planning to tighten a sanctions law against Nord Stream 2.

The law — U.S. Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act (PEESA) — was enacted in December 2019.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent fresh warnings of possible sanctions to companies involved in Nord Stream 2 and the second line of the TurkStream pipeline stretching from Russia to Turkey.

Pompeo claimed that the projects were not commercial but serve as Moscow’s tools to exploit European dependence on Russia’s energy supplies.

Peter Beyer, the German government’s coordinator for transatlantic relations, tweeted Thursday that the US should grant Europe comprehensive energy sovereignty.

The Nord Stream 2, stretching 1,230 km from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea, is scheduled to start operation in the middle of 2020.