Association Of European Businesses Reiterates Opposition To US Sanctions On Nord Stream 2

(@FahadShabbir)

Association of European Businesses Reiterates Opposition to US Sanctions on Nord Stream 2

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 17th February, 2021) The Association of European Businesses (AEB) in an interview with Sputnik has reiterated opposition to the US sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 project as such actions can be considered as "an illegitimate interference" in the EU business affairs.

"The European Union should determine its own energy policy and trade relations regardless of any supplier, be it Russia or the United States or any other energy bloc. According to the latest information, we have seen that a number of European companies have abandoned the project due to the threat of US sanctions. Against this background, the AEB members continue to insist that the European energy and security policy implementation is the exclusive prerogative of the European Union and its members. Therefore, in our view, the US sanctions can be considered as illegitimate interference in European business activities. The Association of European Businesses advocates equal partnership in international trade that excludes the use of unilateral extraterritorial sanctions, which might be used as a tool for unfair competition," Tadzio Schilling, the CEO of AEB, told Sputnik.

Nord Stream 2 is a massive offshore pipeline designed to pump Russian gas to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The United States has long criticized the project and threatened it with sanctions, including collaterally, for example, by sanctioning companies that work on the pipeline's construction. Despite that, the project has already reached 95 percent of completion.

This week, the Handelsblatt newspaper reported that the US administration had offered Berlin to introduce some kind of "mechanism for stoppage" of Nord Stream 2 that would ensure the transit of gas through the pipeline in the event of "violations" of human rights by Russia. It is also proposed giving new guarantees to Ukraine that it will remain a supplier of energy resources to the EU, the newspaper reported, citing a source in Washington.

Klaus Ernst, the head of the committee on economics and energy of the German parliament, has told Sputnik that he opposed the discussion of the "mechanism for stopping" Nord Stream 2 in negotiations with the United States.