Germany is halting Nord Stream 2; German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
After Moscow recognized the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, Germany halts Nord Stream 2.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Tuesday that he was suspending the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project with Russia in response to Moscow's recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk's independence.
Scholz stated that he has requested a suspension to the pipeline's review by the German regulator.
"That sounds technical, but it is the necessary administrative step so there can be no certification of the pipeline and without this certification, Nord Stream 2 cannot begin operating," he said.
Earlier today, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky urged an immediate halt to Nord Stream 2, a pipeline that would transport Russian natural gas to Germany over the Baltic Sea.
Scholz said that the decision to halt the project was just the first "concrete" action and that further penalties against Russia might be imposed in the future.
"There are also other sanctions that we can introduce if further measures are taken, but for now, it's a matter of doing something very concrete," he said at a joint press conference with visiting Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin.
Scholz voiced confidence that the European Union would agree "robust and massive" sanctions targeting Russia after Moscow recognized the independence of the two districts in eastern Ukraine.
"I am confident that we will succeed," he said in response to a question on whether the 27-nation bloc would agree unanimously to the embargo.
It is noteworthy that the pipeline's construction is complete but German regulators had not yet approved its use.
Following meetings with Scholz in Washington earlier this month, US President Joe Biden warned that if Russia invaded Ukraine, he would find a way to "put a stop" to the project.