Merkel stands by Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline that U.S. opposes

Merkel stands by Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline that U.S. opposes

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she isn’t abandoning a German-Russian gas pipeline project that faces U.S. sanctions, although it’s likely to be an irritant in generally improved relations with the new administration.

"I am saying today that ... my basic attitude has not yet changed in such a way that I would say that the project shouldn’t happen," Merkel added.

"We will of course speak with the new American administration," she said. "But we must also talk about what economic relationships with Russia in the gas sector are acceptable and what aren’t. And it’s not as if there were absolutely no trade relations between the United States of America and Russia in the oil sector, for example."

She reiterated Germany’s objections to "extraterritorial sanctions," The AP reported.

In general, Merkel said that "there is simply a much broader political overlap with President Biden" than with predecessor Donald Trump. But she said there will still be differences.

Gazprom says that 6% of the pipeline, or about 150 km, remains to be completed and insisted that it intends to complete the project soon - though it has acknowledged there’s a risk the project could be suspended or canceled.

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