BERLIN, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The Federation of German Industries (BDI) condemned the U.S. sanctions threat against companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 project as a "serious strain on transatlantic relations" on Friday.
The sanctions threatened by the U.S. would "create an increased legal security and investment risk for around 120 large and small companies from 12 countries," said BDI Director General Joachim Lang, who feared that consumer gas prices in Europe could rise as a result.
Oliver Hermes, chairman of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, also described the threat of immediate U.S. sanctions as an "incredible low point in transatlantic relations."
The U.S. was "using sanctions without restraint to assert its own economic interests," Hermes said, adding that the European Commission would need to "quickly present a tough catalogue of measures to this end."
BDI believes that the sanctions threat were "contrary to international law" and also expected "clear diplomatic reactions from the EU and the member states concerned."
Uniper, a German energy company involved in financing the pipeline project, told the German business newspaper Handelsblatt on Thursday that the company had noted "with regret" that the U.S. was aiming to "interfere with an important infrastructure project which we believe is important for European energy security."
The U.S. had attempted in the past to prevent the completion of Nord Stream 2 with sanctions. In 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump slapped sanctions on all companies involved in construction, which led to a suspension of construction.