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US Sanctions On Nord Stream Sanctions Criticized By German And EU

US Sanctions On Nord Stream Sanctions Criticized By German And EU
The sanctions by the United States on companies that are currently constructing a Russian natural gas pipeline to Germany have been criticized by Germany and the European Union.
US president Donald Trump was accused of interfering in national and bloc sovereignty by both the parties.
Following the signing of a massive defense bill by Trump, the sanctions on targeting the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany by Washington was turned into law.
The companies that have been targeted in the sanctions are engaged in the construction of a $11 billion (€9.93 billion) energy project that is aimed to transfer directly Russian gas under the Baltic Sea to Germany.
After the signing of the sanctions by Trump, identification of the companies and individuals providing services for the pipeline has to be completed by the Trump administration in 60 days. Under the sanctions, US visas to the identified individuals would be revoked and Washington will have the right to block the property of these individuals in the US. After their identification, the individuals will have a 30 day period to stop their operations.
It had "suspended its Nord Stream 2 pipelay activities", announced Allseas of Switzerland, one of the companies under the sanctions and engaged in laying the pipeline, just hours after the sanctions were signed into law.
In an effort to minimize the damage of US sanctions, it would aim to complete the project as soon as possible, the group behind the pipeline said on Saturday.
"Completing the project is essential for European supply security. We, together with the companies supporting the project, will work on finishing the pipeline as soon as possible," Nord Stream 2 said in a statement.
Nord Stream 2 was described in the sanctions bill as a "tool of coercion and political leverage" that could be used by Moscow against Berlin. It also says that such a situation also has a high risk of significantly weakening of ties of the US with Germany other European allies.
The sanctions were overwhelmingly approved by US lawmakers in both houses of Congress.
The sanctions were condemned by German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government. It urged the US government not to poke its nose in European energy policy. "They affect German and other European businesses, and we see the move as meddling in our internal affairs," a government spokeswoman said.
The sanctions were called "a severe intervention in German and European internal affairs" by German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.
The European Union has also opposed the US sanctions. "The imposition of sanctions against EU companies conducting legitimate business" was criticized by a spokesman.
While threatening to impose "reciprocal" measures, the Russian President Vladimir Putin has already pledged to go ahead with the completion of the project. The United States was pursuing a an ideology that was an obstacle to global trade, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. She said on her Facebook page: "Soon they will demand that we stop breathing."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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