Merkel denies Russian use of Nord Stream 2 as a weapon
According to the ex-Chancellor of Germany, at the time of the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, Nord Stream 2 was not launched, so Moscow could not use it as a weapon
Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel denied Russia's use of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as a weapon. She stated this in an interview with RND.
Commenting on the decision to build the gas pipeline, Merkel said that she “believed not in change through trade, but in communication through trade with the second largest nuclear power in the world.”
The move turned out to be difficult, she said, as it was widely believed that Russia would stop pumping gas through Ukraine immediately after the launch of Nord Stream 2. At the same time, the ex-Chancellor of Germany pointed out that at the time the Russian special operation began, the pipeline had not been launched. “In that sense, gas was not a weapon,” — she stressed.
Merkel also explained that the choice in favor of Russian pipeline gas instead of liquefied gas from other countries was due to its benefit to the industry.
Nord Stream 2 consists of two strings of pipes about 1200 km long. Their total power— 55 bcm m of gas per year. A preliminary decision to start construction of the gas pipeline with the participation of an international consortium, which included Engie, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper and Wintershall, was made in 2012. The construction was completed in September 2021.
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After Russia recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, Germany suspended the certification of Nord Stream 2, the construction of which was completed in the fall of 2021. The pipeline had to obtain approval from German and European regulators before launch, but many European politicians have argued that Moscow will begin to use the pipeline as a “political weapon”.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called this decision pressure on business, and presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed hope that the decision would be temporary. Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said earlier that Moscow has the right to respond to the refusal to certify Nord Stream 2 stopping the flow of gas through Nord Stream 1.
Registered in Switzerland and owned by Gazprom; Nord Stream 2 AG may soon begin bankruptcy proceedings, Reuters reported earlier. Nord Stream 2 operator fell under US sanctions, providing for the freezing of his assets and isolation from the dollar system. The restrictive measures also affected officials of Nord Stream 2 AG.
The company has fired 106 of its employees in Switzerland and must file for bankruptcy, Sylvia Thalmann-Guth, head of economic affairs in the Swiss canton of Zug, said in early May. She explained that the company became insolvent due to US sanctions, and did not rule out that other companies operating in Switzerland may also suffer due to restrictive measures.
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