Pompeo meeting Danish leaders, likely to discuss pipeline

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Denmark on Wednesday for meetings with the country’s leaders that are likely to address the construction of a disputed gas pipeline which Washington opposes.

Pompeo was due to meet Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod. He also is set to participate in a meeting with political leaders from Greenland and the Faeroe Islands, which are semi-autonomous Danish territories.

One topic of the talks was likely to be the construction of the disputed Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. Last week, the Trump administration warned companies involved in the project they will be subject to U.S. penalties unless they halt their work.

The European Union warned the U.S. to hold off threatening trade sanctions against EU companies involved in the completion of the new German-Russian natural gas pipeline and instead discuss differences as allies.

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Denmark gave permission in October for the German-Russian underwater gas pipeline to be laid to through its territory.

The U.S. has been an outspoken opponent of the pipeline, which will transport natural gas about 1,200 kilometers (750 miles). Along with eastern European countries that also oppose the project, the U.S. government argues that it will increase Europe’s dependence on Russia for energy.

Greenland, along with the rest of the Arctic, will also likely play a role in Pompeo’s talks in Copenhagen. Last month, the U.S. opened a consulate as part of a push to expand its influence in the northern region.

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