Germany on Tuesday halted the certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline designed to bring natural gas from Russia directly to Europe, after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized breakaway parts of eastern Ukraine and ordered troops into the region.
Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said that his country would not accept the recognition of the two self-proclaimed, pro-Russian separatist regions in the Donbas area of eastern Ukraine, and that Germany had to reassess the situation regarding Nord Stream 2.
The 750-mile pipeline was completed in September but has not yet received final certification from German regulators. Without that, natural gas cannot flow through the Baltic Sea pipeline from Russia to Germany.
The United States, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and several EU countries have opposed the pipeline since it was announced in 2015, warning the project would increase Moscow’s influence in Europe.
Nord Stream 2 could deliver 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year. That’s more than 50% of Germany’s annual consumption and could be worth as much as $15 billion to Gazprom, the Russian state owned company that controls the pipeline.
Trying to starve off Russia will make things even worse. Russia will need to take territory to survive.
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