- Politicians in Berlin reacted fiercely to a letter from three Republican senators threatening to punish a small German port.
- Sensors Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and Ron Johnson last week threatened the port of Mukran with sanctions for their role in helping Russian ships develop a major gas pipeline into Germany.
- The administration of President Donald Trump opposes the project called Nord Stream 2, out of concern that Germany is too dependent on gas from Russia and Moscow is expanding its economic influence in Europe.
- The letter threatened to “dismantle economic and legal sanctions” on the port if it did not “stop”; supporting Russian ships building Nord Stream 2.
- A minister in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government called the senators’ threats “absolutely outrageous.”
- Visit the Business Insider home page for more stories.
US relations with Germany are intensifying after politicians in Berlin reacted angrily to a letter from three Republican senators threatening to “break” sanctions against a small port. for helping Russian ships build gas pipelines.
Ministers Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and Ron Johnson last week wrote to Faehrhafen Sassnitz, who runs the port of Mukran in the German coastal town of Sassnitz, threatening to “dismantle economic and legal sanctions. “If the country does not stop supporting Russian ships that are building Nord Stream 2.
The administration of President Donald Trump protested the pipeline out of concern that Germany was too dependent on Moscow for natural gas and that it would allow Russia to expand its economic influence in Europe. In 2018, Trump said they could turn Germany into “Russia’s hostage,” according to the BBC.
Regarding this particular disagreement with Berlin, he was supported by a number of Democrats as well as European countries such as Poland and Slovakia.
Once completed, Nord Stream 2 is set to be 1,230 kilometers long, or 764 miles, to bring natural gas from Russia to northern Germany. It was designed to double the capacity of Nord Stream, an existing pipeline built almost a decade ago, according to The Washington Post.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Nord Stream 2 could open by the end of this year.
The letter, cited by Deutsche Welle, said the port operators were “intentionally providing goods, services and substantial support” to Russian ships developing the pipeline. The letter asked port operators to “shut down” or face “potentially fatal measures” such as severing trade relations with the United States.
Niels Annen, a foreign minister with the German Federal Foreign Office, called the letter “utterly outrageous.”
He told German broadcaster ZDF last Friday: “Threatening a close friend and ally with sanctions, and using that kind of language, will not work … Energy policy. Europe’s will be decided in Brussels, not Washington, DC. “
Manuela Schwesig, prime minister of the state where the port is located, described the letter as “blackmail”, while Jürgen Trittin, a famous Green member of the Bundestag, said it was an “economic declaration of war”, Politico said. news on Tuesday.
The Port of Mukran, located on the German island of Rügen, hosts sections of the transcontinental pipeline and serves as a service center for Russian ships building Nord Stream 2, according to Deutsche Welle.
Cruz and Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen last week announced a bill designed to extend sanctions against parties providing support for the Nord Stream 2 project.
Mr. Cruz said that the Energy Security Clarification Act of Europe Protection, which must be passed by Congress and signed by Trump to become law, “clearly states that those involved with the sanctions were paralyzed and immediate “, Reuters reported.
The clash on Nord Stream 2 comes amid growing tensions between Washington and Berlin.
Andreas Michaelis, Germany’s ambassador to the UK, recently told Business Insider that “flaws” in Germany’s relationship with the US mean working with the Trump administration has become “not easy”.
“With all the information policy flaws, and everything being decided without consultation,” the ingenuity that has crept into the relationship is what worries us, “he said.
Merkel’s government also reacted fiercely to Trump’s recent announcement of a plan to withdraw nearly 12,000 US troops from Germany.
Johann Wadephul, a senior figure in Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, said last month: “We expect our top ally to act as a role model, oriented and balance – not maximum pressure. You don’t treat partners like this “.
Peter Beyer, Germany’s Transatlantic Cooperation Coordinator, also said this was “completely unacceptable.”