The US Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell sent letters to German companies warning that Washington may impose sanctions against them for supporting construction of the Nord Stream 2. The full text of the letter was published by the newspaper Bild am Sonntag on Sunday, January 13.
"We emphasize that if companies supporting the Russian energy sector take part in such projects this could entail a significant sanction risk,” Grenell wrote. He said that “If Nord Stream 2 and Turk Stream would make the 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."
Grenell has also claimed that the companies that support both projects are undermining the security of Ukraine and Europe as a whole. According to the newspaper, US authorities approved the letters, which were then sent to many German companies that, in turn, perceived it as blackmail. "The letter is not to be construed as a threat, but as a clear message of US policy,” the newspaper quotes a spokesman of Grenell as saying.
Nord Stream 2 is a pair of gas pipelines that can deliver 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea directly to Germany. The cost of the construction is estimated at €9.5 billion. Its launch is expected by the end of 2019. The USA has repeatedly criticized the construction of the pipeline.