The US ambassador to Germany has warned of sanctions against firms linked to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia, the American embassy in Berlin confirmed Sunday January 13th.
A letter envoy Richard Grenell sent to several businesses "reminds that any company operating in the Russian energy export pipeline sector... is in danger under CAATSA of US sanctions," an embassy spokesperson told AFP.
The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) adopted in 2017 targets Russia and North Korea. The letter by Grenell, a close ally of President Trump, "is not meant to be a threat but a clear message of US policy," the spokesperson said.
"The only thing that could be considered blackmail in this situation would be the Kremlin having leverage over future gas supplies," he said. Construction has already begun on Nord Stream 2, set to double the capacity of an existing pipeline across the Baltic Sea.
Even Germany's opposition Left party condemned Grenell's intervention, with deputy parliamentary leader Fabio de Masi accusing him of behaving like the "governor in Germany of an emperor from Washington."
He urged the government to summon Grenell for a reprimand.