Nord Stream 2 Operator Lays Off Staff, Mulling Bankruptcy
Russian-owned Nord Stream 2 is facing a bleak future after Germany indefinitely halted its certification process over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week, prompting the pipeline’s operator to make some tough decisions.
The Swiss-based Nord Stream 2 AG was forced to lay off all of its 140 employees, after German chancellor Olaf Scholz last week halted the pipeline’s certification process by withdrawing a previously submitted report regarding the security of Germany’s natural gas supplies. “We have learnt that all the staff of Nord Stream 2 in Zug, more than 140 people, have been made redundant,” announced Swiss economy minister Guy Parmelin during an interview with public radio station RTS.
Last week, the Biden administration imposed stringent sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG, after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the sovereignty of the two Donbass republics, and subsequently invaded Ukraine. On February 23, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Treasury Department ordered the “the wind down of transactions involving Nord Stream 2 AG” or “any entity in which Nord Stream 2 AG owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest” before March 2.
So, with Germany completely axing the pipeline, coupled with the West’s sanctions, the company— which is owned by Russia’s Gazprom and overlooks the project from Russia to Germany— is also allegedly looking to file for insolvency. According to Reuters, which cited individuals familiar with the matter, Nord Stream 2 AG has been working with a financial advisor to help address its liabilities, and is slated to officially begin the bankruptcy process in a Swiss court sometime this week.
Both Nord Stream 2 AG and Gazprom failed to comment on the situation.
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