On 27 July 2017, The US Senate has passed a bill to slap new sanctions on Russia. Germany was a strong critic of this sanction from the beginning. Germany even threatened retaliation.

As this link suggests,

That seems aimed against NordStream 2, the proposed Russian pipeline across the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing Ukraine. Investors in NordStream 2 includes five major European companies: French ENGIE, German Uniper and Wintershall, Anglo-Dutch Shell and Austrian OMV.

This project is worth US $10.3 bn, and is especially lucrative as 50% financing is being done by Gazprom of Russia.

Even though Germany, Austria, France initially protested the sanction but looks like went to hibernation ever since.

What is Germany doing right now regarding this sanction?

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    You are not connecting thoughts here. Now you're talking about wars? If you can't explain, so be it, but as such, the question is vague, at best.
    – user1530
    Aug 28, 2017 at 18:05
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    @notstoreboughtdirt I suppose...though it seems that's what the linked articles are already talking about. I may be off base (I have been before) but the question just seems vague to me.
    – user1530
    Aug 28, 2017 at 18:27
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    @blip I don't know about the other groups, but ENGIE is still partially owned directly by the french state ( around 30 % of the shares), and undirectly for most of the rest (around 60 % of the shares ). It used to be a nationalised company (gaz de france), currently undergoing a "privatization" (make its ownership private little by little, state ownership is apparently a bad thing coming from socialism). So why the state is involved is pretty obvious. Not to mention french jobs linked to this project. Aug 28, 2017 at 23:15
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    @blip An argument from ignorance, such a big energy deals are handled by governments not companies. Here is picture from opening Nordstream 1 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nord_Stream#/media/…
    – user14816
    Aug 29, 2017 at 10:10
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    @user5751924 "state ownership is apparently a bad thing coming from socialism" You must be either form the US or from a stone age country...
    – Sarkouille
    Aug 29, 2017 at 11:12

1 Answer 1


Regarding question 2:

Generally speaking, a country like the United States can regulate how their own citizens, residents, and companies trade with other countries.

  • They might ban their citizens from the import of specific items, e.g. Cuban cigars.
  • They might ban the heir citizens from trade with specific people or companies, e.g. certain Russian businessmen.
  • They might simply ban heir citizens from all trade with a country.

If a ban on trading with a company or country applied only to direct trade, it would be worthless. So while Cuban cigars were barred, it did not matter if they were coming directly from Cuba or if they got re-packaged elsewhere.

When the US get really serious about sanctions, as it was regarding Iran and North Korea, they would go even further. They would ban the trade with a country, and the trade with any company which trades with that country, and the trade with any company which trades with a company which trades with that country, and so on.

Doing that is a pretty tedious effort, but it forces everybody to take sides -- trade with (or in) the US, or trade with their enemies. That would leave German companies with the free choice of not trading with Russia or not trading with the US. Most would opt not to trade with Russia in this case.

The German companies might also complain to their government, which may or may not take the issue to the American government. While the US is generally free to regulate their international trade, this may be construed as a violation of other trade agreements which the US has signed previously, and it might be seen as an unfriendly act by an ally.

Getting Europe to go along with sanctions on North Korea is relatively easy. Doing the same to Iran was harder. Getting a consensus on Russia sanctions may be harder still.

It is my estimate the Russia and Western Europe have achieved a kind of MAD regarding the energy issue -- Russia really needs European money, Europe really needs Russian gas, and I doubt anybody knows who would collapse faster if the energy trade gets seriously disrupted.

The number and location of gas pipelines really matters. For instance, as long as the Soyuz pipeline through Ukraine is used for shipments to Western Europe, it is difficult to cut off shipments to the Ukraine -- if their citizens are freezing, they can take gas now and worry about payments later. New pipeline construction can shift the power balance.

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    This answer is correct, except the second part. The Europe is actively diversifying its gas supplies, including the recent LPG supplies by the US. Also, Ukraine has deliberately cut off all gas import from the Russia back on 25 November 2015, almost two years ago, and the declared national strategy is to never buy it there anymore. Even if "their citizens are freezing". :-) Aug 29, 2017 at 4:13
  • @bytebuster, I don't think that diversification has gone far enough to replace Russian gas yet. Many pipelines are not build to reverse the flow, so LNG terminals in Zeebruge can't easily supply Latvia or Romania. And Ukraine now buys from people who get their gas in part from Russia.
    – o.m.
    Aug 29, 2017 at 4:25
  • Precisely. Then why does your answer suggest that Ukraine "take gas now and worry about payments later" (=steal) the transit gas? Aug 29, 2017 at 12:42
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    @bytebuster, because of the 2005 gas dispute. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – o.m.
    Aug 29, 2017 at 17:56

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