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Germany's Merkel underlines aim to complete Baltic pipeline

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday underlined her country's aim of completing a new German-Russian gas pipeline that faces tough U.S. resistance. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline will, if completed, transport natural gas about 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) under the Baltic Sea. Along with eastern European countries that also oppose the project, the United States argues that the conduit will increase Europe’s dependence on Russia for energy.

U.S. lawmakers passed legislation in December providing for sanctions against individuals and companies involved with the vessels laying the pipeline. Further U.S. action is under consideration. “The kind of extraterritorial sanctions being imposed by the United States of America do not correspond to our understanding of the law, and so neither do the deliberations ongoing at the moment,” Merkel said in a question-and-answer session in the German parliament.

“One has to concede that the construction process is complicated by this, but we think all the same that it is right to complete this project and we are acting in this spirit,” she added.

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