Nord Stream 2, a 760-mile (1,225-km) pipeline project to ship gas from Russian Federation under the Baltic Sea to Germany, would double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline and has divided the European Union.
It was this pipeline, the transit of Russian gas and its storage in Slovakia, that Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer) discussed with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in early June, 2019.
Eastern European, Nordic and Baltic Sea countries see the pipeline as increasing Moscow's economic grip on Europe. But many politicians and energy companies in Germany support Nord Stream 2 because the country, Europe's biggest economy, needs steady gas supplies as it seeks to wean itself off of coal and nuclear power.
"This is something that I have been looking at, and I am thinking about", Trump said when asked by reporters about possible U.S. sanctions against the pipeline.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, aimed at doubling the existing pipeline's capacity of 55 billion cubic meters annually, is a joint venture of Russia's Gazprom and five European energy majors. "I say, 'How can you do that?'" Trump said. Despite Washington's threats to sanction those involved in the project, it has already attracted more than 670 firms from 25 countries.
The US has been gradually boosting LNG shipments to Europe, which have been up 272 percent since last July.
The administration of former President Barack Obama also opposed Nord Stream 2.
Earlier on Wednesday at the White House, Polish Oil and Gas Company (PGNiG) signed a deal to purchase 1.5 million metric tons of LNG per year from USA company Venture Global LNG starting in 2023, bringing its total planned purchases from the company to 3.5 million metric tons per year. Poland also signed an agreement with US officials on civilian nuclear power cooperation.