Chancellor Olaf Scholz says Germany has taken steps to delay the certification process for Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas project.
On Tuesday, the West began retaliating against Moscow for its role in the Ukraine conflict.
On Tuesday, February 22, 2022, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz awaits Ireland’s Prime Minister Micheal Martin in the chancellery in Berlin, Germany.
“Now it is up to the international community to respond to the Russian president’s one-sided, incomprehensible, and unjustified action,” he told reporters in Berlin, adding that it was important to “send a clear signal to Moscow that such actions will not go unpunished.”
Mr Scholz stated, “The situation now is fundamentally different.”
He stated that the government had chosen to retract a study on the pipeline’s influence on the security of Germany’s gas supply, which had not yet begun operation.
“That may sound technical, but it’s a required administrative step without which the pipeline cannot be certified at this time,” he explained.
Mr Scholz went on to say that the German Economy Ministry will examine the issue in light of recent events.
“If I may say so,” he said, “that will undoubtedly take time.”
Germany uses natural gas to cover approximately a quarter of its energy demands, a figure that will grow in the coming years as the country shuts down its last three nuclear power facilities and phases out coal use.
Russia provides almost half of Germany’s natural gas. The decision is a big step forward for the German government, which had long resisted ending the $15.3 billion project despite pressure from the US and several European countries to do so.
For years, Washington has debated whether extending another natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany would strengthen Europe’s dependency on Russian energy supply.