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Statement by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on the US announcement on plans to tighten guidance on CAATSA

16.07.2020 - Press release

Following the US announcement on plans to tighten guidance on CAATSA, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (16 July):

With its announcements on measures that also threaten European companies with sanctions, the US Administration is disrespecting Europe’s right and sovereignty to decide itself where and how we source our energy. European energy policy is decided in Europe and not in Washington. We firmly reject extraterritorial sanctions.

In recent weeks, the German Government has held numerous talks with the US side in view of a possible tightening of PEESA. We made our position very clear at these meetings. We think it is wrong to impose sanctions on partners. What we need is a joint transatlantic stance on sanctions against Russia. Yesterday’s decision by the US will make it even more difficult to achieve this.

Background information:

Following the guidance announced by the US on the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), involvement in pipelines (Nord Stream 2 and Turk Stream were named explicitly) that began before 2 August 2017 can become subject to sanctions under Section 232 of CAATSA. Persons involved as of 15 July 2020 in the financing, construction, pipelaying or related services for one of the pipelines run the risk of being sanctioned if they cannot show credibly that they are winding down their actions with regard to the pipeline. Existing contracts will not be protected. “Financing” refers, among other things, to the continued or unchanged use of existing loan or financial contracts.

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