Germany halts Nord Stream 2 in response to Russia’s latest actions
Germany has halted the process of certifying the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia due to the current crisis in Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been reported as saying.
According to local media reports, Scholz has announced that his government is taking the measures in response to Russia’s recognition of two separatist-held regions in eastern Ukraine.
Scholz believes that the project cannot go ahead now in these crisis circumstances.
“That sounds technical, but it is the necessary administrative step so there can be no certification of the pipeline and without this certification, Nord Stream 2 cannot begin operating,” German state-owned broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported Scholz as saying.
The German Chancellor added that the security of Germany’s supply needs will now be reassessed by the relevant authorities.
“In this phase it is important, apart from initial sanctions, to prevent a further escalation and with it a disaster. All of our diplomatic efforts will be aimed at achieving this,” Scholz stated.
To remind, Nord Stream 2 construction was completed in September 2021, but the project requires regulatory certification from German authorities before gas delivery could begin.
The pipeline has been facing resistance from the U.S. which argues that it would increase Russia’s influence and leverage over Europe and that bypassing Ukraine will deprive it of lucrative transit fees.
Nord Stream 2, worth $11 billion, is designed as two parallel 48-inch lines, some 1,200 kilometers long, each starting southwest of St. Petersburg and ending at the German coast at Greifswald.
The pipeline has a capacity to transport 55 billion cubic meters of Russian gas a year to the EU for at least 50 years.