Germany is preparing to strike back against the US if President Donald Trump follows through on his threat to kill off the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with additional sanctions, APA reports citing Bloomberg.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration is considering pressing for co-ordinated European Union action, according to two German officials familiar with the discussions. An economy ministry paper seen by Bloomberg News said such measures by the US would be new and could hit significantly more German and European companies and banks as well as state agencies.
Anna Sophie Eichler, an Economy Ministry spokeswoman, said at a news conference on Friday that she is unaware of any counter-sanctions being considered by the German government.
The 1,200-kilometre (745 mile) pipeline under the Baltic Sea, designed to pump Russian gas directly to Germany, has triggered deep division between EU member states. But the prospect of a direct US intervention in the 27-member bloc’s energy interests should prompt a collective response, said the officials, who asked not to be identified.
The new German strategy adds the possibility of further escalation between the transatlantic allies, with the US this week announcing potential tariffs on $3.1bn of products from Germany and other European countries. Trump has also reiterated his intention to cut the number of US troops in Germany and renewed a threat to hit the German auto industry with a new set of levies.
Flashpoints between the two sides are multiplying as Trump’s reelection campaign runs into trouble and the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to get out of control in the US.