U.S. driven by self-interest in wanting to block Russia pipeline: German minister

U.S. driven by self-interest in wanting to block Russia pipeline: German minister

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A close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a stark warning to the United States about the risks of placing “America First”, accusing Washington of seeking to block a planned Russia-Germany gas pipeline to shore up its own exports. Economy minister Peter Altmaier defended the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is strongly opposed by many East European countries as well as the U.S., who say that by circumventing Ukraine the pipeline will increase Russia’s leverage over countries that rely on Moscow’s energy sales. Ahead of a summit due later on Friday between Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Altmaier said the European Union should guarantee that Ukraine will continue to receive gas transit fees, even after the pipeline is built under the Baltic.