Germany rejects U.S. sanctions threat over Nord Stream 2 pipeline

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Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Arancha Gonzalez Laya (L) speaks with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas before a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, July 13, 2020. (European Union/Handout via Xinhua)

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

BERLIN, July 16 (Xinhua) — German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Thursday rejected Washington’s latest threat of sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, saying “European energy policy is made in Europe.”

“By announcing measures that will also sanction European companies, the U.S. government is disregarding the right and sovereignty of Europe to decide where and how we source our energy,” said Maas, according to a statement by the German Federal Foreign Office.

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

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press briefing in Washington D.C., the United States, on March 5, 2020. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

Mass said that the German government had held numerous talks with the United States 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 late December 2019.

On Wednesday, U.S. 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 are not commercial but serve as Moscow’s tools to exploit European dependence on Russia’s energy supplies.

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

A Nord Stream pipeline operator stands on a platform before the opening ceremony of the North Stream second gas link in Portovaya bay, some 60 kilometers from the town of Vyborg in northwestern Russia, Oct. 8, 2012. (Xinhua)

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