Biden to put an end to Nord Stream-2 project if Russia invades Ukraine

8 February 2022, 11:13 AM

There will be no Nord Stream-2 pipeline in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden said on Feb. 7 at a joint press-conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during the latter’s visit to Washington.

Biden stated very clearly that “If Russia invades… again, there will be no longer Nord Stream 2”. When asked how it would be done, Biden did not go into the specifics, saying only: “I promise you we will be able to do it.”

The risk of a further Russian invasion into Ukraine began rising in October 2021, when Russian began ferrying troops and materiel to the Russian-Ukrainian border. Currently, 130,000 Russian troops have been deployed in this manner, and military assets are still moving into position.

Video of day

Scholz did not explicitly affirm that the pipeline would be stopped. However, he stated that Germany would take all the necessary measures to sanction Russia, together with its allies. Scholz also added that there was no lack of understanding between Berlin and Washington over any of the foreseen sanction measures.

The construction of the divisive Nord Stream-2 pipeline has been fraught with political and environmental issues, with Ukraine alleging that the pipeline, which is has been laid under the Baltic Sea, is intended to challenge Ukraine’s status as the primary gas transit middleman in Europe. Prior to the construction of the Nord Stream pipelines, most gas to Europe from Russia flowed through the Ukrainian gas transit system.

Russian aggression against Ukraine, however, has included using gas as a weapon – cutting Ukraine off from gas supplies, using alternative transit flows, and ignoring contractual obligations for gas delivery.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline was finalized on Sep. 10, 2021, and has a total annual capacity of 55 million m3. It will only be commercially operational after a German certification process, which is slated to occur this year. Critics of the project has pointed out that the pipeline may face difficulties in passing this certification, given that the pipeline’s owning company on the EU side is not an entirely independent operator, in contravention of EU regulations.

According to the president of the Federal Network Agency, the German regulator responsible for certification, Jochen Hommann, Nord Stream-2 is unlikely to start operations in the first half of 2022.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google News

Ukraine Today
Fresh daily newsletter covering the top headlines and developments in Ukraine
Daily at 9am EST
Show more news