Nord Stream 2 Halted Over Russia’s Recognition of Donbass
The infamous Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline has officially been cancelled, after German chancellor Olaf Scholz pulled the plug in response to Russia’s recognition of Donbass, the breakaway region of eastern Ukraine.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially recognized the sovereignty of Donetsk and Lugansk, the two separatist regions of Donbass in eastern Ukraine. He cited the move in response to years of hostilities in the region, accusing Kiev of failing to cooperate on a peaceful solution and wanting “to start Blitzkreig.”
“Treaties of friendship, cooperation, and mutual assistance have been signed between Russia and these new states, in which we promise to safeguard their security,” said Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov as part of an appearance on the Russia 24 TV news channel following Putin’s signing of the decree.
Ukraine, along with Western officials, have instead accused Moscow of using the recognition of Donbass as a pretext for invading Ukraine. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied those claims, insisting that there aren’t any plans in place to initiate a war, and that British and American intelligence reports are merely “hysteria.”
In response to Russia’s unprecedented move, Scholz on Tuesday announced that the certification of Nord Stream 2 will be immediately halted, as the authorization process cannot move forward amid current hostilities between Russia and Ukraine. He called on Germany’s economy ministry to withdraw a report that was previously submitted to the country’s energy regulator regarding the security of Germany’s natural gas supplies.
“That sounds technical, but it’s the necessary administrative step to ensure that the pipeline is not certified,” Scholz said. “Without this certification, the pipeline cannot go into operation.” Construction of the pipeline was officially completed in 2021, but has been sitting vacant due to Berlin’s strenuous bureaucratic regulatory process.
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