Maas: Germany will not back down in US Nord Stream 2 dispute

Berlin does not plan to back down in the dispute with the United States over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told dpa.

"We do not need to talk about European sovereignty if that is understood as us doing everything in future the way Washington wants us to," Maas said in comments looking ahead to Joe Biden taking over the US presidency from Donald Trump on 20 January.

Berlin is seeking a new start with Washington under Biden after relations deteriorated during Trump's term.

But there will still be points of contention going forward, Maas said. "The German government will not change its stance on Nord Stream 2," Maas said. "The important thing is that we are aligned on the central strategic and geopolitical issues, that we are on the same side of the field," he said.

US policy on the matter is not expected to shift with Biden's inauguration - the Democratic president-elect rejects the project, as does Trump.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is to carry Russian-sourced gas directly to Germany, the EU's top economy, via a route under the Baltic Sea similar to the currently operational Nord Stream line.

The US has condemned the pipeline as threatening the security of NATO allies in the EU by increasing dependence on Russia and has threatened new sanctions.

The pipeline was recently reported to be 94% complete.

Supporters of the pipeline project accuse the US of only wanting to be able to better sell their own gas to Europe.

Similar articles

  • Laschet gets early nod for chancellor run

    Laschet gets early nod for chancellor run

    Leading members of Germany's Christian Democrats (CDU) are giving their support to party boss Armin Laschet to be the country's next chancellor after elections in September, dpa reported. The autumn polls will see Chancellor Angela Merkel leave the post after over 15 years at the helm.

  • France bans short domestic flights

    France bans short domestic flights

    France launched yet another initiative, aimed at curbing carbon emissions. Under new amendments in legislation all domestic flights that could be substituted by train travel for under two and a half hour routes will be permanently suspended, Reuters reported. The move is the last in a series of actions targeted to lower green house gases. For the transport companies it comes on top of pandemic driven reduction of business and profits.