Nord Stream
© Global Look Press / Stefan Sauer
FILE PHOTO: The construction site of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline
Berlin will consider countermeasures if the US imposes sanctions on Nord Stream 2, the pipeline that will deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany, the head of the Bundestag's Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy has said.

"The way we shape our energy policy is not of American's concern," chairman Klaus Ernst said in an interview to RIA Novosti, adding that the threat of sanctions is unacceptable.

"The Federal Government must defend itself against it. If the sanctions are to hamper the operation of the pipeline, it is necessary to think about countermeasures."

Berlin could, for example, target US liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, according to the Bundestag member. Washington has been gradually boosting LNG shipments to Europe, while consistently demonizing the Russian pipeline, with US officials alleging that Moscow is building it to use energy as "leverage over Europe."

Comment: Does Germany even need expensive US LNG once Nord Stream 2 is up and running??

However, those 'warnings' failed to stop Russian energy giant Gazprom's European partners from participating in the construction of the massive new pipeline along the bottom of the Baltic Sea. In late October, Denmark granted long-anticipated permission for Nord Stream 2 to pass through its waters, eliminating one of the main hurdles for the project. The undersea pipeline is now on track for completion, and is set to be launched in the middle of next year.

Washington has long been looking to kill the energy project. In what seems to be a last-ditch effort to hamper Nord Stream 2, US lawmakers are reportedly working on adding it to the National Defense Authorization Act to impose sanctions on firms involved in the construction.

"The reason for the [sanctions] push is that this window is closing," Senator Jim Risch, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told Defense News. "If we're going to stop it, and we think we can stop it with sanctions, we are told that there are a minimal number of entities that can actually do this construction, I think it's two firms, and we have time, we have every reason to believe and hope that when we sanction them they're going to take it seriously because it will cost them dearly."