More Russian gas should be able to be delivered directly to Western Europe via the pipeline, but the project has already been plagued by setbacks in recent months. US sanctions previously caused delays and the German regulator was obstructive last month.
After G7 meeting
New German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said yesterday that “the pipeline cannot be commissioned in the event of further escalation in Ukraine.”
She told German broadcaster ZDF just after the weekend’s G7 meeting on tensions with Russia. Today, further meetings are held in Europe to discuss the situation with Russia.
German Chancellor Olav Scholz also spoke out about the controversial Nord Stream 2 project during a visit to Poland yesterday. According to the US, the gas pipeline will increase Europe’s dependence on Russian gas. That would allow Russia to exert political pressure on vulnerable Eastern and Central European countries, including Ukraine.
Transit gas Ukraine
Scholz said at the time that despite US criticism, Germany would remain committed to Ukraine as a transit route for gas to Europe. “We continue to feel responsible for ensuring that Ukraine’s gas transit operations continue to be successful,” Scholz said.
Baerbock’s statements shortly after the G7, however, indicate that Germany will reconsider that position if, for example, Russia decides to escalate the conflict with Ukraine militarily.