Kassel (Germany), July 27 - Neftegaz.RU. The European natural gas market needs diversity and Russian supplies are an important component of the mix, German energy company Wintershall said.
«With European oil and gas production decreasing, energy imports from Russia are an essential part of the European energy supply,» a spokesperson for the company told UPI.
Plans to double the network have been meet with concerns from the U.S. and Europe, who worry about Gazprom's anti-trust behavior and Russia's tacit strategy of using energy for political leverage.
Wintershall's spokesperson said that Europe needs a wide range of suppliers and transport networks, but stayed out of the political issues associated with the pipeline.
The U.S. State Department has warned that any company that engages in the Nord Stream project could run afoul of sanctions imposed last year on Russia. Last week, U.S. Senate leaders introduced a bill that would sanction Nord Stream partners.
Speaking during a NATO summit in early July, U.S. President Donald Trump said Germany was controlled by Russia through the natural gas market.
Mario Mehran, the CEO of Wintershall, has said that U.S. pressure on Russia could be a tacit way to advance U.S. economic interests in the European energy market.