Austria regrets U.S. withdrawal from Paris agreement, sanctions against Nord Stream 2

US President describes impact of Paris Accord
U.S. President Donald Trump refers to amounts of temperature change as he announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Vienna has expressed regret over the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Agreement and the use of sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project during U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Austria.

On Friday, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen expressed regret over the United States’ withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The issue was raised by the president while meeting Pompeo in the Hofburg, the presidential office said after the meeting.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced in June 2017 that his country would withdraw from the UN climate change agreement that aimed to combat climate change by accelerating and intensifying actions and investments needed for a sustainable low-carbon future.

Also on Friday, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg told a press conference that Austria “deeply” regrets the U.S. use of extraterritorial sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

“It is no secret that obviously any friendship doesn’t mean that you agree 100 percent on every topic,” said Schallenberg at a joint press conference with Pompeo.

“There are issues where we do not agree and we have different approaches. One, for instance, is the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project,” said the minister, adding they “would rather endeavor on or pursue the way of bilateral talks to find a common solution on this ground, on this matter.”

The Nord Stream 2 is a multinational offshore natural gas pipeline project that will transport natural gas from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. When finished, the 1,230-km pipeline will have the ability to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Russia to Europe.

Citing energy security concerns, Washington has repeatedly threatened to impose sanctions on the project’s participants. Enditem

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