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26 Nov, 2021 14:32

Germany’s future Vice-Chancellor slams Nord Stream 2 as ‘project to pressure Ukraine’

Germany’s future Vice-Chancellor slams Nord Stream 2 as ‘project to pressure Ukraine’

Germany’s new government will have to “take another look” at the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline because it’s a “strategic project” aimed at putting Ukraine under pressure, the incoming German vice-chancellor has claimed.

Speaking to Munich-based daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, Robert Habeck explained his belief that the pipeline was “never just a purely private-sector project.” Habeck, who is the co-leader of Germany’s Green Party, will also become the Minister of Economics and Energy. In this role, he will be in control of the Federal Network Agency, the body responsible for the approval procedure of the pipeline.

“Nord Stream 2 was never just a purely private-sector project,” Habeck said. “It is a strategic project that puts Ukraine under pressure and increases the dependencies of German politics.”

The controversial pipeline, which was completed last month, stretches from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea to Germany, allowing Moscow to send gas without transiting other countries. It would also enable Berlin to protect its energy security and make the process less reliant on third parties, thereby lowering the price. Despite numerous packages of American sanctions, the project has been completed but is yet to be certified.

Certification of Nord Stream 2 AG as an independent operator must be completed before the pipeline can be commissioned. Last week, the German regulator suspended the certification procedure, recommending that Nord Stream 2 create a German subsidiary, which must then resubmit a complete set of documents.

Despite the Green Party’s opposition to Nord Stream 2, it has also been against America’s interference in the project. On Tuesday, Omid Nouripour, a foreign policy spokesman for its parliamentary faction, slammed new sanctions imposed by Washington as “unacceptable.”

“What kind of friendship are they striving for if they impose sanctions against friends when they do business with a third party?” Nouripour asked. “The Nord Stream 2 pipeline was and remains a mistaken German decision, not an American decision.”