US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell criticized the Nord Stream 2 project during an interview with Funke Mediengruppe.
He stated that many in Germany are concerned about the implementation of the pipeline project. "It's about Russian influence," said the Ambassador.
Grenell added that the US is working closely with Europeans who share the US’ concerns. According to the diplomat, the current pipeline construction strategy is "very problematic."
Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, also spoke in the same interview with Funke Mediengruppe, and noted that Nord Stream 2 is not in Europe’s interests. "We have a common strategy of drawing our energy from a variety of sources – and not relying so heavily on Russia," said the European Commissioner. According to Vestager, it is also about security interests.
Nord Stream 2 will deliver gas from Russia to Germany. The gas pipeline will complement the existing Nord Stream pipeline and should double the supply of gas along the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Its length will be more than 1,200 km, with a capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per annum. The project’s estimated cost is €9.5 billion. Nord Stream 2 is a project of Russian energy giant Gazprom; it is being jointly implemented with a number of Western companies, including Royal Dutch Shell, OMV, ENGIE, Uniper and Wintershall.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko believes that the project is directed against the interests of Ukraine and the European Union. Germany and Finland have approved construction permits for Nord Stream 2; the project is still waiting for the approval of permits from Sweden and Denmark, since the pipes will be laid through their territorial waters. Construction of the land portion of Nord Stream 2 began in the German city of Lublin in the beginning of May. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared Germany could not use a gas pipeline without a transit route through Ukraine. Danish prime minister Lars Lokke Russmussen has also said that the agreement could be slowed down for political reasons. The European Commission does not support the Nord Stream 2, stating that it does not promote the diversification of sources and routes for gas supplies.