Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Russia-Ukraine tensions: Germany halts huge gas project

Berlin has taken steps to halt the process of certifying the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Tuesday. The West started taking punitive measures following Moscow’s recognition of the two Ukrainian breakaway regions.

He told reporters in Berlin that his government was taking the measure in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

“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,” Scholz stated.

Construction of the pipeline project has been completed, but the project still needed regulatory certification from German authorities before the gas could be delivered.

The pipeline has been a source of contention with the US who has expressed concern that it increases European dependence on Russia for its energy needs.

President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into two separatist pro-Moscow regions in eastern Ukraine after recognizing their independence on Monday.

The US and UK plan to impose sanctions against Russia, with several other countries saying they were prepared to do the same.

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