The United States assured Germany that they do not plan to impose sanctions on projects related to the construction of gas pipelines to supply Russian gas to Europe, Reuters reported.
“We got the promises by the American side, it was primarily about the projects connected with the pipelines, there is a promise of the American side that these projects are so far excluded from sanctions,” the representative of the Germany Ministry of Economy and Energy told a a briefing in Berlin.
A source in the Russian government told RBC that the vice-president of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič has discussed the issue of the withdrawal of gas pipelines from the threat of sanctions with the US authorities.
“The news is positive, but it’s not very correct to comment on the relationship between Germany and the US,” Sergei Kupriyanov, a Gazprom representative, told RBC.
In spring, State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said that US sanctions could affect foreign companies involved in the construction of the Nord Stream-2. On May 17, Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Diplomacy Sandra Oudkirk confirmed that European companies supporting the construction of Nord Stream-2 may be subject to sanctions under the US Law on Countering America’s Enemies through Sanctions (CAATSA).
On June 20, Rainer Hartmann, member of the board of the German company Uniper, which is part of the consortium of investors for the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline, called the US sanctions “extremely dangerous” for European project participants. “This is a real risk for all five European consortium members,” he said (along with Uniper, the Gazprom-led consortium includes Engie, OMV, Shell and BASF).
Ukraine is among the most fervent critic of the Nord Stream-2. Official Kyiv fears that the commissioning of a new gas pipeline, according to which Gazprom plans to annually supply to Europe bypassing Ukraine 55 billion cubic meters of gas, will deprive it of significant revenues received in the form of transit fees. According to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, it is about $ 3 billion a year.
The largest shareholder of Nord Stream-2 (51%) is Russia’s gas giant Gazprom. The pipeline is planned to be commissioned before the end of 2019.