German business working on response to US over Nord Stream-2

08:39, 22 July 2020 27

The Eastern Committee of the German economy (OAOEV) urges to take response measures due to the US intention to toughen sanctions against the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline and is working on proposals regarding this issue, OAORV chief Michael Harms said.

Harms explained that business response might vary from diplomatic statements and compensations for German companies to protective sanctions. He noted that Washington might freeze the accounts of companies involved in the gas pipeline construction or blacklist their top managers, TASS reports.

We have continuously warned against stiff response measures to the United States since we do not want to find ourselves within a sanction spiral. Now we have a different look at the matter, and we are working actively on proposals, Harms told Funke.

He noted that the German business considers the gas pipeline to be vital, as 'it will promote gas supplies, maintain low prices, and help protect the climate.' 

Harms added that its further construction would not create any technical problems. However, the question of how insurance companies would behave in such a situation remained open. He also called the US sanctions a dangerous precedent, saying the European Union should counteract them. 

We should do so that other countries could not come to the same decision, Harms said.

As to whether the gas pipeline construction could be considered 'dead' due to the US actions, the OAOEV representative said the issues had not yet gone so far, but the US embassy in Berlin insists on some dates for negotiations with several companies.

We consider such actions alien to partners, he said.

On July 21, the US House of Representatives unanimously voted for toughening sanctions against Nord Stream-2. Congressmen approved the due amendments to the US defense budget bill for the next financial year. The sanctions will affect companies involved in laying pipes, insurers, and enterprises that provided the premises for the technical modernization of vessels.