Trump Insists on Halting Nord Stream 2 Construction

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Germany should withdraw from the project, although it is not known whether it will be able to do so, the US president said. Merkel no longer excludes sanctions against Nord Stream 2, the German government spokesman said. On Monday, September 7, US President Donald Trump reiterated that Germany should abandon the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction. However, he doubted that Berlin would be able to withdraw from the project at this stage. "Germany is in a very weak energy position. They are closing nuclear and coal power plants," the US president said at a press conference in front of the White House. Trump also repeated once agian his theses about Germany's "unfairness" when purchasing the Russian gas. "Why is Germany doing billions worth of business with Russia while we defend Germany from Russia?" - he said. Merkel does not rule out sanctions against Nord Stream 2 Earlier in the day, German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not rule out imposing sanctions against Russia aimed at Nord Stream 2. This announced the official representative of the German government Steffen Seibert. "The Chancellor joined the statement of the German Foreign Minister, which he made over the weekend," Seibert said, speaking about the possible reaction of the EU to the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. A day earlier, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas first linked Alexei Navalny poisoning to the gas pipeline construction. “I hope the Russians will not force us changing our position on Nord Stream 2,” he said. Maas acknowledged that the pipeline construction halting would hurt German and European companies. At the same time, according to him, it would be wrong " excluding from the very beginning " any consequences for this initiative in the light of events around Navalny. There are only 160 km of pipes left to lay on the bottom of the Baltic Sea The US opposes the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction. In their opinion, it will increase Europe's dependence on Russian gas supplies. Work on laying pipes along the bottom of the Baltic Sea has been suspended due to US sanctions against European contractors. The measures, which took effect in December 2019, included a ban on entry into the United States for representatives of these companies and freezing any of their assets in the country. Later, on June 4, 2020, the Republicans submitted to the Senate of the US Congress a bill to expand sanctions on Nord Stream 2. Due to this threat, the Swiss company Allseas has suspended participation in the project. The pipe-laying vessel Akademik Chersky arrived from Nakhodka at the German port of Mukran in May, but the Danish authorities banned any construction work in the area of Bornholm Island, explaining this by cod spawning.