Scholz imposes sanctions covering the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline
The German Chancellor announced yesterday that he would not certify Nord Stream 2 (NS2) , the pipeline that was set to transit gas from Russia to Germany, bypassing Ukraine and Poland on its route through the Baltic Sea. The announcement came after Russian President Vladimir Putin ramped up tensions with the West by sending troops into two regions of Ukraine that he stated were independent.
Mr Scholz had pressure mounted on him by the US for months to scrap the pipeline to sanction Russia, which it claimed could be used as “leverage” against Moscow.
But Ms Adler has warned that this may not have been the wisest move.
She wrote on Twitter: “Germany’s Chancellor stops certification process for gas pipeline designed to bring cheaper gas from Russia directly to Germany.
“This was hugely important for Berlin’s allies in the west in view of the current Russia-Ukraine crisis but energy prices in Germany are a huge concern.”
It comes as Europe has already been grappling with an energy crisis as prices soar across the continent.
Scholz’s decision to cancel NS2 could send energy prices soaring
NS2 would have sent gas from Russia to Germany
The Kremlin claimed that NS2 would have been able to ease prices and could have doubled the volumes of gas being sent to Europe.
Danil Bochkov, from the Russian International Affairs Council, agreed that Mr Scholz’s decision could backfire.
He told Express.co.uk: “The impact will be substantial not only on Germany but on the whole EU since it could not diversify supplies that fast.
“But this is going to be more of a mid-term impact because NS2 has not been launched yet, so Berlin was not relying on its as a source of gas supply.
“The expectation of the NS2 launch which was expected to supply vast amounts of gas could stabilize market energy prices over time.
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Russia supplies 40 percent of Europe’s gas
“Now, the gas and oil prices are most likely to keep climbing worldwide, because Germany and Europe would struggle hard to find a substitute supporter capable of delivering the same amount of gas. If it could at all.”
Russian Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov said that the EU would not be able to replace the large volumes of Russian natural gas with liquified natural gas (LNG) from different countries.
Moscow has already been accused of deliberately withholding gas from the bloc and has been blamed for sending energy costs surged.
Since December, Russia’s state-owned gas conglomerate Gazprom has been sending gas flowing through the Yamal-Europe pipeline to the East, a reversal to its usual route to the West.
The sent December prices surging to new records, surpassing records seen in October.
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There are fears Russia could further restrict its pipeline gas from Europe
And fears have been soaring that Russia, which supplies 40 percent of Europe’s natural gas, could squeeze supplies further in response to harsh Western sanctions over its increased military aggression over Ukraine.
American rating agency Fitch said yesterday that if Western sanctions lead to Russia’s oil exports being completely cut off, the world can expect the international energy market to “completely collapse”.
One measure suggested by the US was for international LNG suppliers to ramp up production so Europe would not have to rely as much on Russia’s supplies.
Critics of NS2 said that Mr Putin’s grip on European energy would only have grown tighter if NS2 became operational.
One of the fiercest opponents of the project is Yuriy Vitrenko, CEO of Ukraine gas giant Nafotgaz.
Yuriy Vitrenko, CEO of Naftogaz, was a fierce opponent of NS2
He said in a statement: “We welcome the decision of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action to withdraw the official assessment that Nord Stream 2 has no impact on security of gas supply in Germany.
“We hope that the Federal Ministry will submit a new conclusion, which will clearly state that Nord Stream 2 poses a threat to such security. This will be the basis for the regulator to reject certification for this gas pipeline. Naftogaz provided the relevant arguments to the German government.
“This demonstrates that Germany stands in solidarity with Ukraine, in particular, supporting our position on Nord Stream 2, which we have been communicating to the new government in recent months.
“The last time we did this was a few days ago during the Munich Security Conference in the context of the looming escalation of Russian military aggression. Putin’s revisionist imperial policy poses a threat to Ukraine, Europe and the whole world. Nord Stream 2 is one of the elements of this policy and therefore requires an adequate response.”