Germany: no green light for Nord Stream 2 if any Ukraine escalation

Germany: no green light for Nord Stream 2 if any Ukraine escalation

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia will not be allowed to operate in the event of any new "escalation" in Ukraine, under an agreement between Berlin and Washington, Germany's new Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Sunday.

"In the event of further escalation this gas pipeline could not come into service," Baerbock told German television station ZDF, clarifying earlier threats made by Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Baerbock was speaking after the weekend G7 meeting on tensions with Russia, and ahead of a sit-down with her European partners on Monday.

Scholz had earlier said during a visit to Poland that: "It would be a serious mistake to believe that violating the borders of a European country would remain without consequences."

The pipeline, which has been backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the one hand and by Scholz's predecessor Angela Merkel on the other in recent years, has been heavily criticised by many countries. The United States and several Eastern European countries are worried that Europe is too dependent on Putin's Russia.

Scholz said that Germany would "do anything" to ensure that Ukraine remains a transit country for Russian gas exports to Europe.

The 1,200-kilometre pipeline, which runs underwater from Russia's Baltic coast to northeastern Germany, was completed in September.

However, Baerbock pointed out that the pipeline "cannot be authorised for the time being anyway because it does not meet the rules of European energy legislation".

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