Trump threatens Germany with sanctions over Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

Donald Trump has again warned that Germany could face sanctions if it continued to support the Russian gas pipeline project Nord Stream 2. Meeting Polish President Andrzej Duda in Washington, Trump said the pipeline would leave Germany hostage to Russia, and that Russia was earning ‘billions and billions’ from selling gas to Germany, which was ‘making a tremendous mistake’. Poland has been one of the main opponents of Nord Stream 2 in Europe, along with Ukraine and the Baltic states. The spokesman of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, reacted, saying that Trump was engaged in blackmail. Trump said yesterday he was going to meet Putin at the upcoming G-20 summit in Japan later in June.

Nord Stream 2 has been facing delays, most recently because of opposition from Denmark, so it may not be ready next year. This may prompt Moscow to re-negotiate gas contracts with Kiev, which expire at the end of this year. With Nord Stream and the new southern pipeline, TurkStream, also under construction, Moscow will no more rely on Ukrainian trunk pipelines, which may fall into disuse. The US, for its part, wants to sell more LNG to Europe, replacing some of Russian gas, and Poland has signed several contracts to buy LNG from the US. Meanwhile, Poland’s contract to buy gas from Gazprom expires in 2022.

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