Die Welt (Germany): the SPD is accusing the US of “actively sabotaging” of Europe

The recent threats of the US government towards German participants of the Russian gas pipeline project “Nord stream — 2” has caused a strong reaction in the Bundestag.

“The US spin a dangerous spiral in relations with its transatlantic partners and more threatened their political and economic relations with Germany and Europe”, — said one of the leaders of the faction of the SPD Carsten Schneider (Carsten Schneider).

Representatives of the three American ministries last week dramatically increased the pressure on European, particularly German companies participating in the project “Northern stream — 2”. Representatives of corporations were invited for individual negotiations, during which they pointed to the risk of sanctions against them.

U.S. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo also made the appropriate “warning” subject to U.S. sanctions law. The law “On combating the enemies of America by sanctions” (CAATSA) has one goal: to stop the construction of 96 per cent of the gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.

“Smart and painful response”

According to USA, Europe risks falling into a very large and strategically dangerous dependence on Russian energy. German and European politicians, however, reject this position.

Deputy Schneider is convinced that “overt threats are nothing short of active sabotage the interests of Europe in the energy sphere.”

The leader of the SPD parliamentary group urged the Federal government to take advantage of the current German presidency of the European Council to quickly enhance “the sustainability of European sanctions”: “Germany and Europe, the world’s largest internal market, cannot allow others to treat them as vassals”.

Schneider called for a “clever response that will be painful for U.S. exporters.” In addition, in his opinion, at the European level should think about “how we could support European companies threatened by sanctions.”

As one of such measures the Deputy considers the appeal in the us courts with lawsuits against the policy of the US administration and Congress to violate international law.

Europe must act sovereign

MP from the SPD stressed that US interest in order to impose the Europeans own shale gas, which they are going to put on the European market by tankers in the form of LNG. In particular, this is also a so-called “associated gas” is a byproduct of oil production in Texas, which itself has a high value in the domestic American market. In addition, U.S. LNG can compete with pipeline natural gas due to high transportation cost.

“Europe needs a sovereign and confident to respond to new destructive and relies solely on its own energy interests U.S. policy,” stressed Schneider. According to him, we must not forget that the US economy is “in many strategic sectors itself is highly dependent on the products and know-how of European companies”.

Assessment Otto Luchterhandt (Otto Luchterhandt), an expert of the law faculty of Hamburg University and the Oriental Institute in Wismar, “if the economic companies registered in Germany, will petition the us courts, this is not obviously hopeless step.”

At the request of our publication he said that a recent U.S. Supreme court decision “can be considered proof that the concept of extraterritorial jurisdiction should be interpreted in a rather limited coverage.” And lower courts can when deciding to focus on this moment.