Politics, Europe

Merkel criticizes US sanctions on Nord Stream 2

German chancellor says Germany opposes unilateral sanctions with effect on third parties

Ayhan Şimşek   | 18.12.2019
Merkel criticizes US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 File photo - German Chancellor Angela Merkel answers the questions of deputies at Bundestag in Berlin, Germany on December 18, 2019. ( Abdülhamid Hoşbaş - Anadolu Agency )

BERLIN

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday criticized U.S. plans to impose sanctions on companies building the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.

“We are against extraterritorial sanctions,” Merkel told parliament while taking lawmakers’ questions on legislation passed by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

“And this is not a new position after yesterday’s decision, this has also been the case with sanctions on Iran, we faced the same problem,” she added.

The German government had long criticized the U.S. administration for taking unilateral decisions and imposing sanctions which not only restrict the economic activity of American corporations but also the companies of third countries.

Merkel on Wednesday urged further talks to overcome differences with the U.S. administration.

The Trump administration recently stepped up pressure on Berlin to abandon the Nord Stream 2 project, arguing it would make Europe energy dependent on Russia.

The sanctions approved by U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday aim at punishing companies working on the Nord Stream 2.

Once it starts operations, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is set to transport 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually from Russia to Europe.

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