German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier claimed that the US is driven by self-interests in order to block the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that is to go from Russia to Germany passing round Ukraine, Reuters news agency reported on May 18.
Altmaier stressed that Washington intends to block the project to boost its own shale gas exports:
“They are looking for markets, which we can understand, and they can land it here easily,” he said. “But it is much more expensive than pipeline gas, so blocking Nord Stream 2 on its own won’t guarantee exports.”
The minister pointed out that Europe would respond if the US attempts to put forward its own economic interests:
“The U.S. are our friends and partners, and we want to defend our common values.
“But if it’s America first, and they put their economic interest before others, then they have to expect Europe to define their own interests and fight for them.”
On May 17, quoting German, US and European officials The Wall Street Journal reported that US President Donald Trump pushes Germany “to pull the brakes on a major gas deal” with Russia. Officials pointed out that Trump proposed German Chancellor Angela Merkel negotiations on a new commercial treaty between the EU and the US if Germany pulls out of the deal. If it is not succeed, the EU will face restrictive tariffs on steel and aluminium. Merkel did not reject the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, but agreed to a “closer working partnership” with Washington in the gas sphere.