Nord Stream pipeline to be suspended if Russia escalates in Ukraine, warns Germany
Berlin has warned Moscow that any new “escalation” of tensions in Ukraine can directly impact the much-anticipated Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.
Germany's newly-appointed Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that the ambitious project will not be allowed to operate in the event of any new "escalation" in Ukraine.
"It was agreed between the Americans and the former German government (of Angela Merkel) that in the event of further escalation this gas pipeline could not come into service", Baerbock told German television station ZDF on the sidelines of the G-7 meeting hosted by British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in Liverpool.
G-7 countries -- Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and the United States -- seek to build a joint front against what they perceive as "Russia’s growing threat in Ukraine".
A senior US State Department official was quoted as saying that the Group of Seven and its allies will adopt a tough stance against Russia if diplomatic efforts to resolve the Ukraine crisis failed.
Earlier, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during a visit to Poland said it would be a “serious mistake” to believe that violating the borders of a European country would “remain without consequences."
"We will also help Ukraine be a country that will be a major source of renewable energy and the necessary production that results from that,” Scholaz said. “We are in concrete talks around how we can help achieve that.”
Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is a vast network of offshore natural gas pipelines in Europe, running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.
Work on the pipeline was suspended in December 2019 after a Swiss company abandoned pipe-laying operations under the pressure of US sanctions. In December 2020, the construction of the gas pipeline was resumed after a year's pause.
The project has been a focal point of tensions between Moscow and Washington, with latter fearing that the pipeline will increase Europe's reliance on Russian energy.