Germany comments on Nord Stream 2 option
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of putting the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline into service to mitigate the EU's gas shortages.
“No, it is not an option,” Habeck told the channel n-tv, noting that the pipeline has no certification. He also pointed out that NS2 is under US sanctions.
Earlier, left-wing German politician Klaus Ernst had suggested the government consider operating the pipeline temporarily.
The newly built Russian gas route has never operated because Germany stopped the certification process for it in early February, prior to the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine.
NS2 stretches from the Russian coast under the Baltic Sea to Germany. Construction was completed in September 2021 and it was ready to be put into service by December of last year. The two-string pipeline was designed to pump 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually.
Last month, media reported that the German Ministry of Finance was studying the possibility of nationalizing sections of the pipeline that run through the country. The federal government reportedly planned to transform these parts into a connection for an LNG terminal.
The reports about the possible expropriation came amid growing concerns in Germany over the Russian gas supply. In June, shipments to Europe by Russia’s Gazprom via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline dropped to about 40% of capacity because of parts shortages caused by sanctions on Moscow. The pipeline will shut down completely for 10 days in mid-July for regular maintenance.
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