Angela Merkel – Merkel ally demands temporary halt to Nord Stream 2 – magazine
BERLIN, March 31 (Reuters) – Germany’s coordinator for transatlantic relations called on Wednesday for a moratorium on the construction of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Europe, breaking ranks with many in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.
The United States is opposed to the project, saying it increases Europe’s reliance on Russian energy and U.S. President Joe Biden is dangling the threat of sanctions.
“The project is a serious obstacle for a new start in transatlantic relations,” coordinator Peter Beyer, a member of Merkel’s conservatives, told WirtschaftsWoche.
“The Americans expect us not only to change our rhetoric, but also to let actions speak. I therefore plead for a construction moratorium on Nord Stream 2,” he said.
Berlin had hoped U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration might take a softer stance than the previous one, not least because the pipeline is nearly complete.
However, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has told Germany that sanctions against Nord Stream 2 were a real possibility.
Russia and Germany argue that Nord Stream 2, a $11 billion venture led by Russian state energy company Gazprom, is mainly a commercial project. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers, editing by Thomas Escritt)