Simson: US sanctions on EU companies involved in Nord Stream 2 not valid

Kadri Simson.
Kadri Simson. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Estonia's European Commissioner Kadri Simson (Center) has hit out at the threat of United States sanctions on European companies involved in implementing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, saying this would violate international law, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported Wednesday night.

Simson told German business daily Handelsblatt (link in German) Tuesday that the EU does not recognize restrictive measures imposed by third (i.e. non-EU) countries on European companies, if those companies are complying with EU law. 

She added that Europe determines its own energy policy, and anything which European companies do which complies with both EU and international law is by definition legal.

"The imposition of sanctions on [European companies] is therefore questionable," she added.

German foreign minister Heiko Maas, in Moscow on Tuesday to meet with Russian opposite number Sergei Lavrov where the pipeline's progress was discussed, took the same line, it is reported.

U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) threatened "crushing legal and economic sanctions" against Fährhafen Sassnitz GmbH, constructing the Nord Stream 2 final section at the northeastern port city of Sassnitz, last week.

Heiko Mass on Monday says he has expressed his displeasure to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the threats.

Kadri Simson holds the energy portfolio at the European Commission.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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