German official calls for Nord Stream 2 postponement

A sign reading Nord Stream 2 near the pipeline landfall facility. [EFE/CLEMENS BILAN]

Germany’s Transatlantic Coordinator Peter Beyer on Wednesday called for a construction moratorium on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in a bid to repair transatlantic relations.

“The project is a serious stumbling block for the restart of transatlantic relations,” Beyer told EURACTIV’s media partner Wirtschaftswoche.

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is more than 90% complete, with less than 150 kilometres left to be laid in German and Danish waters.

“The Americans expect us not only to change our rhetoric but also to let actions speak for themselves. I, therefore, advocate a construction moratorium for Nord Stream 2,” he added.

“European sovereignty must not be misunderstood or reinterpreted as a fortress Europe,” he said. “Strong Europe – yes. Isolation from the USA – no.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in February repeated previous comments that Berlin is sticking with its support for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline “for the time being”, after EU-Russia relations soured further over the treatment by Russia of dissident Alexei Navalny and the expulsion of European diplomats.

Earlier this month, German EU lawmaker Udo Bullmann told EURACTIV that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline needs a “European” perspective to correct the “mistake” of the past.

He also explained the reasons behind Berlin’s logic regarding the controversial pipeline based on foreign policy and the environment. The comments came at a crucial moment of escalating US-Russia tensions.

At the same time, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week said the Nord Stream 2 pipeline being built from Russia to Germany ran counter to the EU’s own interests and could undermine Ukraine.

(Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe