Germany explains why it can’t use alternate route for Russian gas
Germany cannot use the new alternative pipeline to ship natural gas from Russia, Nord Stream 2, even though its usual route, Nord Stream 1, is shut down for maintenance, the country’s government reiterated on Monday.
“Nord Stream 2 is not certified, it does not have a legal permit [for operation]. This issue is not relevant,” Beate Baron, the representative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, said at a briefing in Berlin, as quoted by news agency TASS.
The announcement comes as Gazprom reportedly declared force majeure on EU gas flow via Nord Stream 1, citing “extraordinary” circumstances outside its control. The pipeline is currently closed for maintenance until Thursday. There is concern in Germany, however, that Gazprom will not resume supply when the works are complete.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea, has the capacity to transport 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually and its construction was completed last September. However, the certification process was repeatedly delayed due to opposition from the US and concern in Europe over growing energy dependence on Russia. In February, prior to the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, German authorities denied the pipeline’s certification and the project was halted indefinitely. Berlin is now reportedly considering repurposing parts of the unused pipeline for an LNG terminal.
Gazprom’s CEO Alexey Miller said last month that the pipeline is ready to be switched on and could start pumping gas to Germany any time.
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