Germany’s Transatlantic Coordinator Peter Beyer on Wednesday called for a construction moratorium on the Nord Stream 2 Russia-to-Germany undersea natural gas pipeline, in what could signal a change in German policy.
“The project is a serious stumbling block for the restart of transatlantic relations,” Beyer told a German weekly. “The Americans expect us not only to change our rhetoric, but also to let actions speak for themselves. I, therefore, advocate a construction moratorium for Nord Stream 2. “
Beyer’s position is in the federal foreign ministry; the ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment as to whether his statements represent the government’s stance.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel in December said her support for Nord Stream 2 was “completely unchanged.” She added in January that sanctions imposed by former U.S. President Donald Trump were “not OK.”
However, the domestic political pressure on U.S. President Joe Biden to stop the pipeline has increased in recent weeks.
Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz continues to block confirmation of key State Department nominees until the Biden administration imposes mandatory sanctions on the Russia-backed pipeline passed by lawmakers this year.
Nord Stream 2 is more than 90 percent complete, with less than 150 kilometers of pipe left to be laid in German and Danish waters. Gazprom said last week the pipeline would be finished this year.