Trump presses Germany to drop Russian pipeline

Speaking to reporters in Berlin, Oudkirk said the project could sanctioned under a bill passed in August 2017.

During the meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on April 27, Trump offered to refuse from the support of the gas project in the exchange for new trade agreements between the U.S. and the EU. She has specified that this means that any pipeline construction project in the world could potentially be under sanctions.

The U.S. stepped up its opposition to the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, saying the project raises security concerns and that it could draw U.S. sanctions, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy diplomacy Sandra Oudkirk said.

The German government's point man for Russia, Dirk Wiese, said that at a time of strong disagreements between Russia and the West over Ukraine and other matters, Berlin views the pipeline and the Iran deal as "islands of cooperation" with Moscow.

U.S. President Donald Trump is pressuring Germany to pull out of the controversial Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project, a report said Thursday. It is due to go online at the end of next year.

Earlier US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell also criticized the Nord Stream 2 project, claiming that "it's about Russian influence" and that the United States is "very concerned" about the pipeline venture.

"The new project would permit new technologies to be placed along the pipeline route, and that is a threat", she said.

While Germany and Finland have already approved the project, the United States and several European Union countries along with Ukraine claim that the pipeline will increase Europe's dependence on imported Russian gas.

"Does he agree that there appears to be no economic justification for this, but it is instead a political project created to increase European dependence on Russian gas and to weaken Ukraine and will he press that point on our allies, particularly Germany and Denmark?"

German officials have acknowledged a need to consider the interests of Ukraine.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today (10 April) that plans for a controversial second underwater pipeline to bring gas from Russian Federation could not go forward without Ukrainian involvement in overland transit.

  • Rogelio Becker