According to Olaf Scholz, the commissioning of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline will be frozen. The decision to suspend certification was made against the background of Russia’s recognition of the LNR and DNR independence.
The commissioning of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline (SP-2) will be frozen. On Tuesday, February 22, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced this at a press conference in Berlin.
The head of the German government indicated that he had asked the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection to withdraw the existing report on the supply reliability analysis, which was prepared by the Federal Agency for Networks (Bundesnetzagentur, BNetzA) in Bonn. “That sounds technical, but it is a necessary administrative step so there can be no certification of the pipeline,” he said. Without this certification, Nord Stream-2 cannot be put into operation.
The relevant department of the German Ministry of Economy will give a new assessment of supply security given the “last few days’ changes,” the Chancellor explained. “At this stage, it is important - in addition to the initial sanctions (against the Russian Federation. - Ed.) - to prevent further escalation and thus another catastrophe. This is what all our diplomatic efforts are aimed at,” Scholz said. “At the UN Security Council last night, we and other states have already made it clear that Russia's actions have no chance to receive any international support,” he added.
Nord Stream 2 has not been launched yet
The construction of the NS-2 gas pipeline was completed back in September, the Federal Agency for Networks considered the application for its certification. The department warned that the rapid admission of the Nord Stream -2 is unlikely. Ukraine and a number of Eastern European countries actively opposed its commissioning, stating that this gas pipeline is an instrument of Russia’s political influence. The United States believed that NS-2 would increase Europe's dependence on Russian gas.
There was no consensus on this project in Germany itself. A number of politicians of the ruling coalition in Germany consisting of Social Democrats, Greens and liberals were extremely skeptical about the Nord Stream-2 and did not rule out that it could be abandoned.
Russia recognized the independence of the DPR and LPR
Earlier, on February 21, Vladimir Putin ordered the introduction of Russian troops into the territories in the Donbass under the control of pro-Russian separatists, after Russia recognized the independence of the self-proclaimed “people’s republics”.
The head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrel, called these actions “another direct aggression against Ukraine, a violation of its territorial integrity and sovereignty” and called for an immediate meeting of the UN Security Council. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognize the independence of the DNR and LNR, calling that it is plainly in breach of the Minsk Agreements.
The German Foreign Ministry also sharply condemned the recognition of the DPR and LPR independence. The Kremlin’s actions blatantly violate international law, German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock said, promising that Germany would give a coordinated response with partners to Putin’s decision.