Tubes of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline: most of them already built
HANNIBAL HANSCHKE / REUTERS
The construction of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline is stalled after massive sanctions threats from the USA.
The German port of Mukran in Sassnitz on Rügen has been under constant pressure from US politicians for weeks.
Senators Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and Ron Johnson issued a letter threatening restrictions should the controversial gas pipeline from Russia be completed.
The federal government has apparently responded with an offer of billions.
According to a report in the weekly newspaper "Zeit", Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) proposed to his US counterpart Steven Mnuchin, first verbally and later in writing, that Germany was ready to finance the construction of two special ports for the import of liquefied gas.
The investment is intended to save the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline.
US companies want to export American gas to Germany via terminals in the ports of Brunsbüttel and Wilhelmshaven.
In the written proposal, which according to "Zeit" went to Washington on August 7th, the federal government promised to "massively increase public support for the construction" of the terminals by providing up to one billion euros.
In July, the US government threatened to penalize companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2.
One of the reasons for the American resistance is that US President Donald Trump wants to sell American gas to Germany instead of Russian gas.
This requires the construction of several terminals.
According to the report, however, the federal government is demanding far-reaching concessions from the US government for the billion-dollar investment in the special ports.
"In return, the USA will allow the unhindered completion and operation of Nord Stream 2," says the written proposal from Berlin.
"The existing legal options for sanctions are not exhausted."
On September 24th and 25th, the EU heads of state will also discuss the future of the pipeline at their summit meeting in Brussels.
After the poison attack on the Russian oppositionist Alexej Navalny, various politicians of the Union parties called for a construction freeze on Nord Stream 2.
Meanwhile, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned against seeing the Baltic Sea gas pipeline as a possible contribution to European-Russian understanding.
In her State of the European Union address, she said: "To those who are calling for closer relations with Russia, I say: Alexei Navalny being poisoned with a highly developed chemical warfare agent is not an isolated incident."
The same pattern had previously been seen in Georgia and Ukraine, in Syria and Salisbury - and in interfering in elections around the world.
"This pattern is not changing - and no pipeline will change anything," said von der Leyen.
The federal government has so far left the future of the project open.
Navalny has been treated at the Berlin Charité since August.
According to information from special laboratories, he is said to have been poisoned with a nerve agent.
One possibility is that a Russian secret service is responsible for the crime.
Russia denies the allegations.
Icon: The mirror
apr / dpa