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10 Jun, 2020 09:28

US sanctions on Russian gas pipeline illegal & ‘an assault on Europe’s sovereignty’ – Bundestag member to RT

US sanctions on Russian gas pipeline illegal & ‘an assault on Europe’s sovereignty’ – Bundestag member to RT

The new sanctions by Washington targeting Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline are “absolutely unacceptable,” Klaus Ernst, chairman of the Bundestag Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy, told RT.

He explained that sanctions could stop the completion of the project, and if the pipeline is not finished, “this will increase gas prices in the EU.”

“The US is trying to accomplish its economic interests through illegal extraterritorial sanctions, which it directs at their partners and allies. I assume this as an assault on Europe’s sovereignty. These actions are seriously damaging the transatlantic relationship,” explained Ernst.

The new North Stream 2 pipeline “doesn’t imperil either European or US-American security,” Ernst said, adding: “It’s of as little danger as car imports from Germany are to the US, which the Trump administration called a threat to US security last year."

Also on rt.com Nord Stream 2: Geopolitics, economics or emotions?

“I am convinced that the US is just trying to get their expensive LNG gas into the European market by disturbing the well-established EU-Russian energy relations. By doing this, they violate German and European economic and geopolitical interests, because they hinder their European friends from buying cheap gas from Russia and from maintaining good relations with their eastern neighbor.”

The German government “should clearly and strongly reject the American interference whenever they speak to US officials or politicians,” according to Ernst.

They have to explain why the US sanction policy is illegal and why it violates European interests, which are a strong and peaceful relationship with Russia and the freedom to buy their gas wherever they want to.

He explained that Berlin has to respond with effective countermeasures. It should discuss “punitive tariffs” against US fracking gas with its EU partners and convince them to take collective action against US attempts to violate the EU’s sovereignty.

Germany should also use its EU presidency to discuss the relationship with the US again, as well as reconsider EU sanctions against Russia “as soon as possible,” he said.

Also on rt.com Story of 5 major pipelines explains Europe’s love-hate relationship with Russian energy

“If we just accept the continued breaches of international law with which the US is trying to enforce its interests, they will feel encouraged to do more of this in the future. The current US sanctions policy poses a threat to German and European sovereignty and we have to stand up against it.”

Ernst pointed out that while some Eastern European states “still fear Russia’s influence and adopt a pro-US position against North Stream 2,” it will be difficult but not impossible to find a joint strategy. “Nevertheless, I think the German government should do their very best to convince their European partners that we should defend our sovereignty together.”

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