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Why is Trump targeting a new pipeline to Germany?

14 July 2018

Russia's state-controlled gas producer, Gazprom, next year is completing a new pipeline dubbed the Nord Stream 2 that detours around Eastern Europe by following a route under the Baltic Sea before reaching the German coast at the city of Lubmin, where construction of a new receiving terminal was begun in May.

"As for Germany's dependence (on Russia) as a major gas buyer we can not agree with this premise", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call when asked about Trump's comments.

The Nord Stream and Turk Stream developments are controversial because they will connect Russian gas fields to the central European market, bypassing neighbors like Ukraine. "You tell me, is that appropriate?"

"Nord Stream I and II are purely commercial projects that correspond to the interests of suppliers of natural gas and the buyers of natural gas in Western Europe", he said. According to Trump, after the installation of this gas pipeline, Germany will get about 70% of its energy resources from Russian Federation.

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"We're also going to discuss one other specific issue of deep concern to me and to everybody here, and I think that's the Nord Stream 2 pipeline", Kerry said then.

Trump took aim at the project which is set to run from Russian Federation to Germany under the Baltic Sea, where preparatory work for its construction began off the German and Finnish coasts in May.

To justify the project, the Nord Stream II company predicts the European Union will need to an extra 120 billion cubic metres of gas over the next 20 years.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry also condemned Trump, saying in a Twitter message that Trump's remarks about Germany and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation were "disgraceful, destructive and flies in the face of the actual interest of the United States of America".

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Biden also reportedly said Europe needs "diverse sources of gas, not new pipelines that lock in greater reliance on Russian Federation". She said that she has explored the issues with Ukraine which confronts the pipeline due to the influence it would provide Russian Federation over European countries.

"Regular maintenance is necessary to operate the Nord Stream twin pipeline safely, efficiently and reliably".

"But the decision (for such projects - ed.) countries are sovereign".

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Why is Trump targeting a new pipeline to Germany?