MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. The United States is on the wrong track, imposing sanctions against the companies involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, as it harms the interests of the European Union, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told a press conference following talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
"For us, for the German government, the Transatlantic ties have been of great importance not only at the moment, but for many years. This is true not only for us, but for Europe in general. They [the ties] are deeper than any political situation," Maas said.
"Nevertheless, we must state that sanctions between partners are indeed the wrong and false path. In the end, this is our sovereign decision where we buy energy resources from," he added.
The German foreign minister stressed that no state can dictate the EU energy policy by means of threats. "At the EU level, we are also discussing this topic, how extraterritorial sanctions violate international law. We will talk about this with our partners. In a telephone conversation with the US secretary of state [Michael Pompeo], I made our position very clear," he said.
On June 4, US Senators Ted Cruz, Jeanne Shaheen and John Barrasso introduced a bill expanding sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project to the Senate. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that the project fell under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). The US move prompted harsh criticism in Germany.
The Nord Stream 2 project envisages construction of two gas pipeline strings with the total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters per year from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The gas pipeline is 93% complete to date. The construction was suspended at the end of 2019 when the Swiss pipe-laying company Allseas stopped work due to US sanctions.