BERLIN (Reuters) – A detailed ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a stark warning to america concerning the dangers of inserting “America First”, accusing Washington of looking for to dam a deliberate Russia-Germany gasoline pipeline to shore up its personal exports.
Financial system minister Peter Altmaier defended the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is strongly opposed by many East European international locations in addition to the U.S., who say that by circumventing Ukraine the pipeline will enhance Russia’s leverage over international locations that depend on Moscow’s vitality gross sales.
Forward of a summit due in a while Friday between Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Altmaier stated the European Union ought to assure that Ukraine will proceed to obtain gasoline transit charges, even after the pipeline is constructed below the Baltic.
However he accused Washington of wanting to dam the pipeline, constructed by Russia’s state-controlled vitality big Gazprom and a consortium of European vitality firms, to be able to increase its personal shale gasoline exports.
“They’re in search of markets, which we are able to perceive, and so they can land it right here simply,” he stated. “However it’s way more costly than pipeline gasoline, so blocking Nord Stream 2 by itself gained’t assure exports.”
He added that Europe would reply firmly to U.S. makes an attempt to position its personal financial pursuits earlier than these of companions. “The U.S. are our mates and companions, and we wish to defend our frequent values.
“But when it’s America first, and so they put their financial curiosity earlier than others, then they should count on Europe to outline their very own pursuits and battle for them.”
Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Modifying by Matthew Mpoke Bigg