The German Foreign Ministry recommended that German companies BASF and Uniper refrain from responding to the letters from US Ambassador Richard Grenell which warned them of US sanctions for participating in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, reported Handelsblatt newspaper on Sunday.
According to the newspaper’s sources, the companies asked the Foreign Ministry how to better respond to Grenell's censure. The Ministry recommended that the companies abstain from responding to the American diplomat. The newspaper noted that the companies viewed the letter as a "blatant threat."
The United States has repeatedly threatened to impose sanctions against the participants of the Nord Stream 2 project, but now, disagreements on the gas pipeline between Berlin and Washington have reached new levels.
As the newspaper reports, Grenell’s directives to German companies to reduce activities in Iran led the German Foreign Ministry to decide to maintain contact with the USA only directly through the US Department of State in Washington.
Earlier, on Sunday, January 13, the newspaper Bild am Sonntag stated that Grenell sent letters to German companies warning about the possibility of sanctions against them for supporting construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
According to Grenell, "if Nord Stream 2 and Turk Stream make European gas imports through Ukraine redundant, Kyiv will lose its significance for the security balance [in Europe] and the risk of Russia's intervention will increase."