Germany to halt Nord Stream-2 certification in response to further Russian invasion of Ukraine
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced a halt to the certification process of the Russo-German natural gas pipeline Nord Stream-2, according to a Feb. 22 report by German news outlet Handelsblatt.
The decision is part of Germany’s response to Russia’s recognition of the non-government-controlled areas of Ukrainian Donbas as independent “republics.” The move was announced by Scholz following a meeting with Irish PM Micheál Martin.
Specifically, the chancellor said that he had instructed the German Economic Ministry to rescind Nord Stream-2 paperwork that was previously provided to Germany’s federal energy network regulation agency.
“It sounds like a technicality, but it’s a necessary step that now makes the pipeline’s certification impossible,” Scholz said.
“Without certification, Nord Stream-2 cannot become operational.”
On Feb. 15, the State Duma, Russia’s parliament, submitted a petition to Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognize the proxy republics in the non-government-controlled part of Ukraine’s Donbas as independent. Commenting on the decision, the Russian leader said that the country “should do everything to solve the problems of the Donbas.”
Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to the chief-of-staff to the Office of the President of Ukraine, said that the Duma’s appeal to Putin is seen as an attempt to escalate tensions, and would complicate the situation in Europe.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated that Russia's recognition of the non-government-controlled parts of Ukraine would mean a conscious withdrawal from the Minsk agreements, which would deal a serious blow to the peace process to resolve the conflict in the Donbas. The EU and NATO have also condemned the State Duma decision.
On Feb. 21, the self-declared leaders of the non-government-controlled parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, called on the Russian leader to recognize the so-called “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Russian President Vladimir Putin that same day recognized the independence of the two Russian puppet statelets in Ukraine’s occupied Donbas region, and immediately ordered Russian troops into Ukrainian territory on a self-proclaimed “peacekeeping” mission – in fact an invasion.
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