The US authorities are increasing pressure on Germany in the issue of laying the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline. In their view, the pipe can be used by Russia to install reconnaissance equipment in the Baltic Sea, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Sandra Audkork said. She also recalled that the CAATSA law passed last year allows US President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on investments in Russian gas pipelines - as a result, European partner companies of Gazprom may suffer.
The "Nord Stream-2" gasket may be a means for installing new reconnaissance systems in the Baltic Sea, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Sandra Audkork said in Berlin on Thursday. "If we look at the ability of governments and companies to use the creation of infrastructure as a means of locating devices and technologies that can be monitored, monitored and monitored (happening." - Kommersant), this raises concerns about this particular underwater gas pipeline project in the Baltic sea, "she said (quoted by Reuters).
Sandra Audkork reminded again that the CAATSA law passed last year gives the US president the authority to impose sanctions on companies that invest or otherwise support Russian projects for the export of hydrocarbons through pipelines. Gazprom's partners in Severnoye Stream 2 are Shell, Engie, OMV, Wintershall and Uniper, they agreed to provide bridge financing to the project totaling up to € 4.75 billion.
The deputy assistant secretary of state noted that any company involved in pipeline projects for the export of hydrocarbons from Russia is in a situation of "increased sanctions risk."
While Washington intends to use diplomatic means to stop Nord Stream-2, Sandra Audkork added.
Ms. Audkork added that she would meet with a number of German authorities in Berlin to persuade them to abandon the project. The source of Kommersant in the structures of the EU confirmed that "the US, which is extremely negative about the" Northern because of 2 ", puts a lot of pressure on the EU countries so that they abandon this project."
Note that the complex of arguments used by the United States differs little from the situation of the 1970s. According to the memoirs of Otto Wolf von Amerongen, head of the Eastern Committee of the German Economy in 1952-2000, during the discussion of the gas pipe deal, Washington officials tried to dissuade the Federal Republic from concluding this agreement, citing the fact that the creation of a gas pipeline from the USSR would allow Soviet tanks to refuel directly from it in the course of a potential invasion of Western Europe. Before the construction of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod gas pipeline in 1981, the Ronald Reagan administration imposed sanctions on the supply of American equipment for this project, and in 1982 extraterritorially expanded them. Then the governments of France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Great Britain and Italy declared US sanctions illegal, and they were dropped in November 1982.
Washington's public pressure on Berlin on the Nord Stream-2 project is taking place against the background of the crisis in US-European relations caused by the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran. On Wednesday, EU leaders at a summit in Sofia discussed how Europe could preserve this deal and protect European investments in Iran from the consequences of US sanctions. As the head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker stated today, EU leaders decided to resume the so-called blocking regulations - EU acts, which allow European companies not to comply with American sanctions. They were first developed in 1996 in response to US sanctions against Iran's energy sector.
Yesterday during the summit, the head of the European Council, former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said: "Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, one might even think: with such friends and enemies are not needed. But to be honest, Europe should be grateful to President Trump, because thanks to him we got rid of illusions. " He added that now Europe should help itself.
The Wall Street Journal referring to German, US and EU officials reported that US President Donald Trump, at a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on April 27 in Washington, urged her to abandon support for the construction of the "North Stream-2" in exchange for negotiations on a new trade agreement between America and Europe. As the publication specifies, in the absence of a new agreement, "the transatlantic trade war will begin," since June 1, Europe will face US protective duties on the import of steel (25%) and aluminum (10%).
On Thursday, at the EU summit in Sofia, European leaders again urged the US authorities to refuse to introduce new duties. Angela Merkel said that the EU is ready for talks with the US on this issue and does not exclude "reducing barriers to trade on mutual terms." "Nord Stream-2", she did not mention.
How Europe showed the real risks of Ukrainian transit
Having announced in early March that the contracts with Naftogaz of Ukraine were broken, Gazprom took the lead in escalating the conflict, which has been used successfully in other disputes. Without affecting the moment on either side, the instrument is probably designed to solve two key tasks. First, to minimize the consequences of the Stockholm arbitration decisions for Gazprom during negotiations with Naftogaz, and second, to put Europe before the real threat of stopping Ukrainian transit, making it more loyal to the projects of bypass gas pipelines, primarily the second branch of the Northern flow ".