Russia-Germany gas pipeline raises intelligence concerns

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The American administration is openly provoking the institutional functioning of the European Union and the free will of each member country, as pressure from Donald Trump is exacerbating Germany to abandon the plan to complete the second leg of the Nord Stream pipeline, which will boost exports of natural gas gas from Russian Federation to Europe.

"Any pipeline project-and there are many multiple pipeline projects in the world that are potentially covered by this sanctions authority-is in an elevated position of sanctions risk", she said.

The US push came a day before Chancellor Angela Merkel travels to Sochi to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks that will touch on Nord Stream 2, as well as the US decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. The length of the pipeline will be 1.2 thousand km, and the total capacity of the existing Nord stream - 55 billion cubic meters of gas.

The United States is opposed to the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project because it would increase Moscow's influence in Europe. "But shale gas is much more expensive than Russian gas, so lock the Nord stream-2 itself does not guarantee exports", said Altmaier.

In addition, the United States has threatened to sanction European companies that help build the pipeline.

The official added that Washington also has security concerns connected to the project, as it provides Moscow with an opportunity to install undersea surveillance equipment in the Baltic Sea, which is seen as a sensitive military region.

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"The new project would permit new technologies to be placed along the pipeline route, and that is a threat", she said.

Oudkirk brushed aside as "false" the suggestion that the U.S.is opposing the pipeline to ensure the USA has Europe as a potential market liquefied natural gas.

Until now, however, Germany does not seem to succumb to the pressures and opposes the other side with the slogan "America First", arguing that, in this case, Europe should also look at its own interest, especially when Russian gas is cheaper than the American shale gas.

The Nord Stream 2 project has said it will tap banks for financing in the fourth quarter of 2018 or early next year.

Gazprom's Western partners are energy companies Uniper, Wintershall, Engie, Austria's OMV and Anglo-Dutch group Shell.

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