German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz suspended on Tuesday (22) the certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which connects Russia to the European country and is ready, but unable to operate due to the crisis in Ukraine.
The announcement comes on the heels of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recognition of two self-proclaimed ethnic Russian republics and the deployment of troops to the region.
Nord Stream 2 is the second branch of a mega-project started in the 2000s. It doubles the capacity to transport natural gas across the Baltic Sea, allowing Russia to divert supplies that today are mostly made through Ukraine and the turbulent ally Belarus.
The works were completed in September last year, but their operation was blocked by Germany in November, after Moscow’s military movement on the Ukrainian border.
“In light of the latest developments, we need to reassess the status of Nord Stream 2,” Scholz told a news conference, adding that the Economy Ministry would reassess the certification process in light of Russian actions.
The prime minister also asked the ministry to act to ensure that this certification cannot occur at this time. “The respective departments of the Ministry of Economy will carry out further assessments of the security of our supply.” Following Schzol’s announcement, the British and Ukrainian governments said they appreciated the decision.
The German government has long argued that Nord Stream 2, a legacy from the Merkel era, was primarily a commercial project that diversifies energy supplies to Europe — Germany, the continent’s biggest economy, depends on Russia for about half of its energy supply. energy need.
Despite the suspension, the decision will not affect energy supply, according to the European Commission, as the pipeline was not operational. German Economy Minister Robert Habeck also said that supply is guaranteed but that there could be a price increase in the short term.