“The Netherlands takes a neutral position with regard to Nordstream,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said when asked. “It is a commercial project.” In contacts with American interlocutors, the sanctions are called “undesirable”. An involved business insider blames Dutch neutrality on the Russian refusal to cooperate in the investigation into the downing of MH17. That makes it difficult to confront an important ally like the US about a Russian gas pipeline.
Trump against Merkel
The Dutch companies seem to have mainly focused their hopes on Chancellor Angela Merkel, who according to sources is working on a joint European counter-offensive to prevent American sanctions.
President Donald Trump cites Nord Stream 2 as one of the reasons for withdrawing U.S. military personnel from Germany. “We are supposed to protect Germany, but Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for energy from a pipeline,” Trump said at a campaign meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma last week.