EU, Russia condemn US sanctions for North Stream 2 pipeline

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The European Union today condemned the US sanctions against companies
involved in the construction of the North Stream pipeline.

– The European Union fundamentally opposes imposing sanctions on European
companies involved in legal activities, the EU spokesperson said.
The European Commission is analyzing the possible consequences of US sanctions,
an EU spokesman said. "The aim of the Commission has always been to ensure
North Stream 2 operates in a transparent manner with an appropriate level of legal
oversight," he said.
The German government today condemned US sanctions against the North Stream
2 pipeline, calling it a "meddling in the country's affairs".
– The government rejects these extraterritorial sanctions. They are affecting German
and European companies and are interfering with our home affairs, said Ulrike
Demmer, a spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said today that US
sanctions against companies related to the construction of the North Stream 2
pipeline are preventing other countries from developing their economies.
"A state with $ 22,000 billion in public debt is banning solvent countries from
developing their real economy," said Maria Zakharova on her Facebook page
condemning "an American ideology that does not stand up to world competition".
"They will soon forbid us to breathe," she wrote.
Sanctions against companies operating on Russia's North Stream 2 gas pipeline
included in the military budget for fiscal 2020 and signed by US President Donald
Trump have come into force, the US Treasury Department said.

The statement warns that all parties intentionally selling, renting or securing vessels
participating in pipe installation at a depth of 30.5 meters or more within the
construction of the North Stream 2 and Turkish Stream pipelines, in accordance with
the US sanctions regime must pull those ships.
A Swiss-Dutch company Olsiz said it had suspended all activities to install the North
Stream 2 pipeline because of US sanctions.
The company said it would comply with the provisions of the US Military Budget Act
and that US authorities expect guidance on regulatory and technical issues and
clarifications regarding environmental protection.

Olsiz's decision calls into question the completion of a $ 11 billion project that will
double the pipeline capacity for Germany and which Moscow has announced will be
ready in a few months.

The North Stream 2 project involves the construction of two pipelines with a total
capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year, which will flow from the Russian
coast across the Baltic Sea to Germany.

The US Senate on Wednesday approved the defense budget, which envisions,
among other things, imposing sanctions on companies working on Russia's major
gas project.
The multibillion-dollar defense policy budget, formally known as the National
Defense Approval Act (NDAA), covers a wide range of defense policy and military
spending.

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