Washington’s criticism of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project to deliver Russian gas to Europe bypassing transit countries has been strongly rejected by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

“Matters related to the European energy policy must be decided upon in Europe, not in the United States,” the minister said during a reception organized by the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations.

He added that Germany was open to criticism of the project, but imposing unilateral sanctions over it would be wrong.

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“Imposing unilateral sanctions against Nord Stream 2 is a wrong path anyway. I clearly stated this to [US Secretary of State] Michael Pompeo,” said Maas.

He noted that Berlin had received Moscow’s assurances that gas transit via Ukraine would continue after the pipeline goes into operation.

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“We support the talks with Russia and Ukraine currently being conducted by the European Commission,” the FM said.

Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper reported earlier, citing sources in the German government, that Berlin was concerned by the White House’s plans to impose sanctions on two European construction companies – Swiss-based Allseas Group and Italy’s Saipem. (RT)