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. She has specified that this means that any pipeline construction project in the world could potentially be under sanctions.
A senior US diplomat is warning that a planned gas pipeline from Russian Federation to Germany through the Baltic Sea raises security concerns and risks triggering USA sanctions. At the same time, Oudkirk has not specified what kind of devices are in question.
In early April, after meeting with the leaders of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia at the White House, Trump criticized the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
He said Germany viewed Nord Stream 2 as primarily a commercial project, but saw the need to consider the interests of Ukraine as a gas transit country, and of countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
The $11 billion Nord Stream 2 project would double the amount of natural gas Russian Federation can funnel to the heart of Europe from newly tapped reserves in Siberia.
Oudkirk said the new pipeline would divert gas flows away from Ukraine, which depends heavily on transit fees, and could become a pathway for Russian Federation to install surveillance equipment in the Baltic Sea, a sensitive military region.
Earlier, trump had already criticized the construction of the Nord stream-2, saying at a meeting with Baltic leaders that "Germany would pay billions of dollars for energy resources from Russian Federation...and this is bad".
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Altmaier has said he is optimistic that a "substantial" amount of gas will continue to flow through Ukraine when the Baltic pipeline starts operating.
She said the Baltic was a congested, sensitive military area.
The Thirsk and Malton MP said: "Despite the fact oil and gas exports make up 70% of Russia's worldwide trade, these are not now covered under the European Union sanction regime due to the high reliance of the European Union on Russian gas exports".
Jens Mueller, a spokesman for Nord Stream 2, dismissed concerns from the USA and several European countries, saying the new pipeline would merely be one of many sources of natural gas for Europe.
It added the national permitting procedures in the other three countries along the route - Russia, Sweden and Denmark - are "proceeding as planned".
Denmark is considering passing a law that could block a disputed Russian pipeline project which would run through the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member's territory due to security concerns. The pipeline, to be built by 2022, is aimed at reducing reliance on Russian gas.