Germany is going to “reassess” the certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in response to Russia’s actions toward Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Tuesday.
The 764-mile pipeline that would carry natural gas from Russia to Germany has not begun operating. Nord Stream 2 is owned and operated by a wholly owned subsidiary of Russia state company Gazprom.
Earlier this month, President Biden promised to “bring an end” to Nord Stream 2 if Russia invaded Ukraine. Scholz, appearing with Biden on his first official visit to Washington, was far less explicit about stopping Nord Stream 2, but said that the US and Germany would have the same approach on punishing Russia financially.
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a Tuesday tweet that “we have been in close consultations with Germany overnight and welcome their announcement.”
The US will announce “our own measures today,” Psaki added.
Deputy Chair of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev warned that natural gas prices in Europe will rise because of Germany’s decision.
“Welcome to the brave new world where Europeans are very soon going to pay €2,000 for 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas!” Medvedev, a former president of Russia, tweeted.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized as independent two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, where government troops have long fought Russia-backed rebels. The Kremlin then raised the stakes further Tuesday, by saying that recognition extends even to parts held by Ukrainian forces.
The Nord Stream 2 has seen a faster development and deployment despite sanctions placed on it by the Trump administration. With those sanctions removed, Germany remains keen to see the pipeline activated sooner rather than later.
Scholz had insisted that the pipeline is a “business project,” according to German outlet DW.
Biden last year removed sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, allowing construction and activation to proceed.
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The plan to allow Russia to develop the pipeline to create leverage in times of political crisis may have backfired, as Germany has also grown rapidly dependent on the completion and activation of the pipeline.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.