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Germany pulls plug on Nord Stream 2 pipeline

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Germany is pulling the plug on the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline in light of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said.

The undersea pipeline, meant to ferry natural gas directly from Russia to northern Germany, is owned by a subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned Gazprom. Berlin has previously been reluctant to impose sanctions that would affect Nord Stream 2.

But at a press conference Tuesday, Scholz said that “the situation today is fundamentally different and therefore, in light of recent events, we must also reassess this situation … also with regard to Nord Stream 2.”

He continued: “Today, I asked the economy ministry to withdraw the existing report on the analysis of supply security” submitted to Germany’s energy regulator. That binding opinion from October last year stated that the pipeline posed no security of supply threats.

“This sounds technical, but it is the necessary administrative step so that no certification of the pipeline can now take place,” he added. “And without this certification, Nord Stream 2 cannot go into operation.”

Laurenz Gerkhe and America Hernandez contributed reporting.

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