Scholz halts Nord Stream 2
The German chancellor has halted the approval procedure for the controversial pipeline for the time being. Without certification, Nord Stream 2 cannot go into operation.
Berlin (dpa) - The German government has halted the approval procedure for the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline for the time being, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) said in Berlin on Tuesday. Specifically, the government is withdrawing a report to the Federal Network Agency. Scholz said he had asked the Economics Ministry to withdraw the existing report analysing the security of supply from the Federal Network Agency. "This sounds technical, but it is a necessary administrative step to make sure that the pipeline cannot be certified at this point." Without this certification, Nord Stream 2 cannot go into operation, Scholz stressed.
The department responsible at the Economics Ministry will carry out a new assessment of the security of supply, taking into account "what has changed in the past few days", the chancellor said. "It is now important in this phase, besides imposing initial sanctions, to prevent further escalation and thus another catastrophe. That is what all our diplomatic efforts are aimed at." According to reports, Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) already had such a step examined after taking office.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised the independence of the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine on Monday evening. The Kremlin leader also ordered a deployment of Russian soldiers to eastern Ukraine. This is the second time since 2014 that he is planning to invade Ukraine. The West is accusing him of violating international law. According to Western sources, Russia has deployed around 150,000 soldiers on the border with Ukraine.
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