approval of German government shutdowns for Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

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In response to the escalating situation with Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, the German government has suspended the approval process for the highly contested Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline until further notice.

Germany shuts down gas pipeline in response to Russian military action

The German federal government is set to impose sanctions on Russia following President Vladimir Putin’s decision to move troops to eastern Ukraine. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed on Tuesday that he has asked the Federal Ministry of Economics to take the necessary measures so that the gas pipeline cannot be certified for the time being. “Without this certification, Nord Stream 2 cannot enter service,” he said.

Although the Chancellor had previously seemed hesitant to pull the plug on the controversial project, Scholz told a press conference in Berlin that Russia’s actions over the past few days meant the “situation is now a different one.” He condemned Putin’s decision to recognize the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Lugansk and Donetsk as independent states and send Russian troops to eastern Ukraine on a “peacekeeping mission”, describing him as a serious violation of international law.

Ukrainian Head of State Volodymyr Zelenskyj previously called for an “immediate” shutdown of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, asking for countries around the world to impose sanctions in response to the “new aggressive action against Ukraine.” .. These sanctions must include the complete shutdown of Nord Stream 2.”

Why is Nord Stream 2 so controversial?

The nearly completed pipeline has been the subject of much controversy virtually since its inception. The energy infrastructure project, which would transport natural gas from Russia to the European Union, has been touted as a way to solve gas shortages and high energy prices in Europe.

However, it has driven a wedge between the EU and America, with President Joe Biden criticizing the pipeline as too risky a bargaining chip in relations with Russia. Biden had previously insisted that if Russia invaded Ukraine it would “end” Nord Stream 2.

Scholz said Germany’s Economic Affairs Ministry would now make a new assessment, taking into account “what has changed in recent days”. According to the Chancellor, “in this phase, it is now important, in addition to the first sanctions, to prevent a further escalation and thus another catastrophe. This is what all our diplomatic efforts are aimed at.

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