The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project was developed solely in order to create an alternative route for transporting Russian gas to Europe that does not involve Ukraine, US Ambassador to Berlin Richard Grenell told the Rheinische Post in an interview.
“The problem with Nord Stream 2 is that it is not an economic project. It was developed for only one reason: to create an alternative route for transporting Russian gas on the way to Europe that does not pass through Ukraine. And so the issue is, do the European governments want to become more dependent on a country that uses chemical weapons to kill an opponent in Europe? Will Europe become more dependent on a country that invaded a sovereign state and illegally annexed territory?” Grenell said.
On 13 January, news came out that Grenell had sent the German companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 project a letter reminding them of the risk of coming under US sanctions.
“The content of these letters is no different from the statements we made publicly: companies that operate in the Russian energy export sector risk possible sanctions. The US government and Congress have clear warnings concerning energy security and the geopolitical influence of Nord Stream 2, and I will continue the US policy,” the diplomat said.
“Putin clearly said that he wants to stop the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine. Two projects which will give him the opportunity to do this are Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream 2. These two projects together will make Russian gas transit through Ukraine virtually unnecessary,” he explained.
According to Grenell, the danger is that Russia will once again decide to use energy as a weapon against Europe, or engage in other destructive behavior.
“Although it is unlikely that Germany will become the object of such measures, Germany’s eastern neighbors could suffer. European unity is at stake here,” he added.