Blinken to warn Germany of Nord Stream sanctions

By: AFP      Published: 08:55 PM, 23 Mar, 2021
Blinken to warn Germany of Nord Stream sanctions

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will warn his German counterpart on Tuesday of possible sanctions over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Russia at their first face-to-face meeting. 

"President (Joe) Biden has been very clear in saying that he believes the pipeline is a bad idea. Bad for Europe, bad for the United States," Blinken said at a press conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels. 

He insisted the project was "in contradiction to the EU's own energy security goals" and could "undermine" the interests of Ukraine, Poland" and other allies. 

"I'm sure I'll have an opportunity to reiterate that, including the law in the United States, which requires us to sanction companies participating in the efforts to complete the pipeline."

Blinken is in Brussels for a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers on his first official trip to Europe since taking office. 

He is set to hold bilateral talks with German counterpart Heiko Maas and other key allies as Washington looks to rebuild ties strained under former leader Donald Trump. 

Last week Blinken warned "any entity involved" in the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project between Russia and Germany to disengage immediately.

He denounced it as a "Russian geopolitical project intended to divide Europe and weaken European energy security."

Biden's administration has been accused by Republicans of not taking action. American punitive measures are provided for by law as the pipeline nears completion. 

Blinken has pointed out that construction on the pipeline began in 2018, while the previous Republican administration was in office. 

Germany has faced intense pressure from Washington and some European allies to pull the plug on Nord Stream 2, but has so far resisted calls to scrap it.