Ukraine Crisis: Biden to axe Nord Stream 2 if Russia invades – ‘Will bring an end to it!'

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The controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline was completed in September 2021 after being under construction for five years.

The £8 billion project resulted in a pipeline which will run for 760 miles under the Baltic Sea to double Russia’s gas exports to Germany. 

The pipeline is not yet in use due to regulators suspending its approval as it does not comply with German law.

The Russian owned state-controlled pipeline will be able to pump 55 billion cubic metres of gas to Germany each year.

The pipeline is of great concern to many Western countries as it would result in Europe being more dependent on Russia as Berlin and the EU would hand over substantial power to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine is adamant that the pipeline should be stopped with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky describing the pipeline as a “dangerous geopolitical weapon”.

While the pipeline is suspended it remains a key bargaining tool for the NATO allies who wish to avoid the invasion of Ukraine at all costs.

UK Defence secretary Ben Wallace called the pipeline a “piece of leverage” to be used against Moscow. 

He stated it is “one of the few chips that can make a difference”.

The Kremlin wants the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to be functional as it has direct access into Europe meaning it can bypass sending its supplies through Ukraine and therefore cutting the cost.

With more than 100,000 Russian troops situated on Ukraine’s borders, Western fears are growing of a Russian invasion despite Moscow’s denial.

On Sunday, it was announced by UK officials Russia has assembled 70 percent of miitary forces needed for a full-scale invasion. 

READ MORE:‘We have a problem’ Scholz scrambles to save face with Biden

 

In the press conference following the discussions between Mr Biden and Mr Scholz, Biden was asked about the pipeline, and he said “if Russia invades… that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine, again, then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. 

The 46th US President continued: “We will bring an end to it.”

However, when the President was asked how he would instigate this move, he left out the specifics and responded by saying: “We will, I promise you, we will be able to do it.”

Mr Scholz, who has been criticised for his response to the crisis, was more relucatant in his response to the same question as he ignored all mention of the pipeline.

He said: “We have intensively prepared everything to be ready with the necessary sanctions if there is a military aggression against Ukraine.”

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When asked more directly about pulling the plug on Nord Stream 2 the Chancellor once again ignored the question and said: “We are absolutely united, and we will not be taking different steps.”

Though Biden strongly opposes the pipeline project due to energy dependence on Russia and the subsequent power Russia will gain from it, Germany sees the pipeline as essential.

With sky-high energy prices and lower supplies of Russian gas on the continent, Nord Stream 2 could heat 26 million households in Germany and aid the country’s transition to renewable energy.

Robert Habeck, Germany’s Economy Minister warns that “if there are to be sanctions, there will be none that won’t hit the German economy”.

However, a bigger threat is that Russia could stop gas supplies through Ukraine and while other countries can use other options to obtain gas, Norway who is the second largest supplier to Europe has said they would not be able to replace any missing supplies in the event that Russia causes a shortage.

In case Russia shuts off supplies, the US is in talks with gas-producing countries in an attempt to secure supplies to Europe if needed.



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