The crushing majority of EU member states (24 out of 27) are opposed to US sanctions against European companies that are one way or another engaged in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. The German newspapers Die Welt and Handelsblatt have reported that the Europeans finally amalgamated and announced the US stance running counter to international law. According to available information, the EU delegation acquainted the US State Department with this position during a video conference on August 12. For his part, American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was in Vienna, once again confirmed that the United States was still opposed to Nord Stream 2.
It is notorious that under the guise of hypocritical concern over Europe's becoming dependent on Russian gas, US President Donald Trump is persistently marketing the more expensive American liquefied gas. Not only is LNG more expensive than pipeline gas from Russia, which is naturally not profitable to the Europeans, but "overseas friends" are also seeking to monopolize Europe's gas market. In turn, the EU is interested in diversifying gas supplies and ready to buy a certain amount of liquefied gas from the United States in order to have an alternative and thwart the emergence of either an American or Russian monopoly in its gas market.
Tellingly, the US Embassy in Berlin said America "preferred not to use sanctions and favored cooperation with Europe, but Russia's dominance in Europe's gas markets had left it with no choice." In this regard, the European Commission spokesman said in response to a request from Handelsblatt that "the extraterritorial application of unilateral sanctions is clearly contrary to international law ", noting that the EU ultimately rejects sanctions by third countries against companies from the union that effect legal transactions.
By the way, according to the German commercial weekly newspaper WirtschaftsWoche (WiWo), prior to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas' recent visit to Russia, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder asked the current leader Angela Merkel for assistance in completing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Amid US efforts to disrupt the project, Schroeder has repeatedly talked to Merkel on the subject. Sources of the newspaper note that Merkel assured Schroeder she would no longer tolerate American interference, with the very style and tone of increasingly aggressive attacks from the United States being unacceptable.
At the same time, in a conversation with Gerhard Schroeder, Chancellor Merkel stressed that she, like the entire German Cabinet of Ministers, is fully supportive of Nord Stream 2 and makes every effort to convince the project's existing opponents within the EU. At the same time, Angela Merkel gave Gerhard Schroeder to know she opposed any counter-sanctions in order to avoid escalation that could turn into a "trade war", WiWo writes. This was stated by Mrs. Chancellor in view of Gerhard Schroeder's recent demands that the German government take retaliatory measures to protect Nord Stream 2.
According to him as Chairman of the Shareholders' Committee of Nord Stream AG, a company constructing this gas pipeline along the Baltic Sea bottom, the US sanctions will directly affect more than 120 companies in the field of shipbuilding, engineering, nature protection and security that work or have worked in the Nord Stream 2 project. Behind each of these companies there are jeopardized jobs in Europe, he notes. Therefore, Gerhard Schroeder directly calls the sanctions bill, which is currently being discussed by the US Congress, "a widespread, unjustified attack on the European economy and an unacceptable interference with EU sovereignty and the energy security of Western Europe."
And one more peculiarity. Last week, three US senators openly pledged to "financially destroy" the German port of Sassnitz on the Rügen Island unless local authorities cease logistic support for the last 150 kilometers of the Nord Stream 2. But Sassnitz is specifically located in the constituency run by Bundestag Deputy Angela Merkel, who also happens to be the Chancellor of Germany. So, she has yet another weighty reason to protect not only the gas pipeline, but also her voters from ruin. In the literal sense of the word.