RIYADH: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz put the certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline on ice on Tuesday after Russia formally recognized two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, according to Reuters.
“We must reassess the situation, in particular regarding Nord Stream 2,” Scholz said at a news conference with his Irish counterpart, adding that the economy ministry would look again at the certification process given Russia’s actions.
His comments came hours after Russia's President Vladimir Putin insisted his country would continue to deliver uninterrupted natural gas supplies to world markets.
The leader made the comments in a letter sent to the Gas Exporting Countries Forum conference being held in Doha.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will see gas flow from Russia to Germany, has proved controversial, with some feeling the project should be halted in response to an increasingly aggressive Moscow.
The response from our allies must be just as strong. For the Germans, it means stopping Nord Stream 2 dead in its tracks. The chickens have come home to roost when it comes to Germany’s dependence on Russian gas & they must not let it compromise a European response to Putin. 5/9
— Rep. Elissa Slotkin (@RepSlotkin) February 22, 2022
After the announcement by the German Chancellor, an EU Commission spokesman was reported by Reuters as saying that the decision by Berlin will not change the energy supply to the economic bloc.
Nord Stream 2 is a 1,200km pipeline under the Baltic Sea. It carries gas from the Russian coast near St Petersburg to Lubmin in Germany.
It cost €10 billion ($11.35 billion) and was completed last September. The Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom put up half of the cost and western energy firms such as Shell and ENGIE of France are paying the rest.
Nord Stream 2 runs parallel to an existing gas pipeline, Nord Stream, which has been working since 2011.
The total capacity of the two strings of Nord Stream 2 is 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year, according to Gazprom.
The aggregated design capacity of Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 is therefore 110 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
The Nord Stream Pipeline transported a volume of 59.2 billion cubic metres of natural gas in 2021, according to Nord Stream.