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News // Politics

German Wintershall warns U.S. against playing «geopolitical football»

04 August 2017 , 12:11Daniel J. GraeberNeftegaz.RU419

German energy company Wintershall, a European partner with Russia's Gazprom, said on August 3, 2017, that the European energy sector can't be used for «geopolitical football».

 

Sanctions on Russia relate in part to crude oil and natural gas pipeline infrastructure and came as the European market works to address diversity issues.

Russia meets about a quarter of Europe's demand for energy and leaders in the EU are wary because a company like Gazprom controls both the supplies and the transit networks.

 

German Wintershall is in the Gazprom-led partnership working to expand the twin Nord Stream natural gas pipeline system through the Baltic Sea to Germany.

Mario Mehran, the CEO of Wintershall, said in response to questions emailed by UPI it's still unclear how the legislation would impact energy and how any sanctions would be implemented.

 

On the broader issue, Mehran said sanctions could be used to advance US economic interests in the European energy market.

Shale natural gas from the US has made its way to the European market in the form of LNG, though the CEO said interfering in Russian energy could threaten European energy sector.

 

«Europe must not let itself become a geopolitical football,» he said.

«The framework conditions for the energy cooperation between Russia and Europe are determined by the European countries themselves - and not by 3rd-party countries.»

 

European leaders themselves have expressed concerns about the possible impacts of sanctions on Russian energy.

EC President Juncker said it appeared some of the measures enacted by U.S. lawmakers were watered down in order to address EU concerns.

 

«If the U.S. sanctions specifically disadvantage EU companies trading with Russia in the energy sector the EU is prepared to take appropriate steps in response within days,» he said after the bill was signed.

 

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