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Germany, EU should mull response to US measures on Nord Stream 2, says Bundestag official

According to Klaus Ernst, US actions tamper with the sovereignty of Germany and the EU

BERLIN, June 5. /TASS/. Germany and the EU should consider response to US plans to expand sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Klaus Ernst, head of the Bundestag Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy, told TASS.

"If this does not stop, then we will need to consider serious protective measures. For example, penalties for natural gas from the United States are possible," he said.

According to Ernst, US actions in this matter should be "no longer understood as an act of friendship, but they constitute interference in the sovereignty of Germany and the EU."

On Thursday, a group of US senators submitted a bill that would expand the US sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. According to Bloomberg news agency, the new sanctions target the insurance companies that work with the two Russian vessels, the Akademik Cherskiy and Fortuna, on the completion of the project.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is set to run from the Russian coast along the Baltic Sea bed to the German shore through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of five countries — Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, thus bypassing transit countries of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other Eastern European and Baltic states. Each of the pipeline’s two stretches will have a capacity of 27.5 bln cubic meters. Gazprom's European partners in the project are Germany’s Wintershall and Uniper, Austria’s OMV, France’s Engie and Royal Dutch Shell.

The Switzerland-based Allseas, which laid pipes for the Nord Stream 2, suspended its pipelay activities and withdrew vessels involved in the project due to the threat of the US’ sanctions in late December 2019.

Chief Executive Officer of Gazprom Alexei Miller said earlier that the construction would be completed by its own efforts. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that the construction of the gas pipeline may be finalized using the ship-laying vessel ‘Akademik Cherskiy’. The project is 93% completed to date.

In January, President Vladimir Putin said that the construction would be completed and the gas pipeline would be launched before the end of this year or in the first quarter of next year.