German Foreign Office: U.S. Nord Stream 2 sanctions - encroachment on sovereignty

German Foreign Office: U.S. Nord Stream 2 sanctions - encroachment on sovereignty

Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office Niels Annen commented on the threat of the U.S. senators against Faehrhafen Sassnitz GmbH, which operates Germany's Mukran Port, which is a key staging post for ships involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that’s intended to bring natural gas from Russia to Germany.

"The US policy of extraterritorial sanctions against close partners and allies is a serious encroachment on our national sovereignty," the Handelsblatt. cited the minister as sayig.

 "If you continue to provide goods, services and support for the Nord Stream 2 project, you would destroy the future financial survival of your company," says the letter that is available to the Handelsblatt.

"The tone and content of the threatening letters recently sent to German companies by senators are completely inappropriate," Annen clarified. German and European energy policy "will only be decided in Berlin and Brussels and not in Washington DC," he stressed. 

The SPD politician announced that he would use the German EU Presidency to "strengthen European sovereignty and further develop instruments such as the Blocking Regulation. Europe should not be blackmailable," Annen concluded.

Earlier, three U.S. senators have issued a dire warning to operators of a German port, threatening them with “crushing” sanctions for allegedly providing supplies to Russian vessels involved in a pipeline project the United States vehemently opposes.

The letter sent by Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Tom Cotton and Sen. Ron Johnson targets Faehrhafen Sassnitz GmbH, which operates Mukran Port located in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s constituency on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen.

The three senators say their letter "serves as formal legal notice" that the port operator, its board members, corporate officers, shareholders, and employees risk “crushing legal and economic sanctions” unless they stop providing goods, services and support for the Nord Stream 2 project. This includes providing storage areas for the pipeline’s steel sections and provisions for the Russian-flagged vessels Fortuna and Akademik Cherskiy.

"The only responsible course of action is for Faehrhafen Sassnitz GmbH to exercise contractual options that it has available to cease these activities," the senators add in their letter. It describes the nearly complete pipeline as a "grave threat to European energy security and American national security."