Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the Nord Stream 2 project could be completed in the near future. The minister said this during a meeting with his German counterpart Heiko Maas in Moscow.
“Participants of the Nord Stream 2 campaign, including Russian participants, German participants and others, are determined that this project should be completed, and as I understand it, there is reason to believe that this will be done in the very near future,” said the minister.
Lavrov also drew attention to the sanctions from the United States, with which the American side is trying to prevent the implementation of the project.
"They are crudely pursuing one simple goal without any diplomatic registration: the United States should have the opportunity and the right to do whatever it pleases, both in world politics, and in the world economy, and in general in any sphere of human activity," the minister said.
It should be reminded that Nord Stream 2 is two strings of a gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year and a length of over 1,200 kilometers. The highway passes through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of five countries - Russia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Germany.
The United States systematically opposes the construction of Nord Stream 2. According to Washington, the gas pipeline is "a threat to the energy independence of Ukraine and Europe."
At the end of 2019, the head of the White House, Donald Trump, approved the country's defense budget for the coming fiscal year. Within the framework of this document, sanctions were envisaged, including against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Since then, the American side has repeatedly stated the possibility of strengthening these restrictions. In particular, in July, the US State Department announced its intentions to include Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream in the recommendations of the CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions) law.
In addition, in August, US Senators Ted Cruise, Tom Cotton and Ron Johnson sent a letter to the operator of one of the German ports demanding to stop work to support the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The Bundestag reacted to this, urging to prepare a response to the authors of the letter and pointing out that "interference in the sovereignty of Germany and the European Union has reached an unprecedented level of aggressiveness."
During the August 11 meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia and the FRG, the head of the German foreign policy department, Heiko Maas, commented on the possible strengthening of US sanctions against Nord Stream 2. He pointed out that the decision on who to buy energy from is a sovereign matter for the European Union. Maas stressed that "sanctions between partners are the wrong way."
“And in the end, this is our sovereign decision from where we will buy energy resources. No state can dictate the EU's energy policy with the help of threats, "RIA Novosti quotes the minister.
He added that within the European Union they are discussing the issue of how extraterritorial sanctions violate international law. According to Maas, he voiced this position in an interview with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Recall that Maas previously gave other details of the conversation with Pompeo. According to the Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, he also "expressed bewilderment" in connection with the threats of American senators to the port operator, where the pipe-laying ship Akademik Chersky is moored. This vessel may be engaged in the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
The first deputy chairman of the State Duma Energy Committee, Igor Ananskikh, in an interview with RT, also expressed confidence that Nord Stream 2 will be completed, since the pipeline is strongly interested in Europe itself.
“The gas pipeline reduces the cost of gas for Europe, and this is beneficial not only for Germany, but also for all countries. Nord Stream 2 is not a project of Gazprom, it is a project of a consortium of the largest European energy companies, and everyone understands its need, ”the deputy said.
He noted that the project is beneficial for many parties, but there are also those who actively oppose the completion of the highway.
“First of all, these are the states that can lose transit through their territories, due to which they live quite well. And, of course, the United States is objecting, which is actively trying to push its expensive LNG to Europe, which is disadvantageous to anyone except the United States, ”the parliamentarian concluded.
We add that in early August, the EU announced that it was working on a mechanism to counter sanctions, including those directed against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.
According to the EU Ambassador to Russia Markus Ederer, the communiqué on measures to strengthen the financial and economic sovereignty of the EU will lay the foundation for an enhanced sanctions mechanism, which will also increase the resistance of the association to the action of extraterritorial sanctions of third countries.