Germany is ending the new $10bn Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia, amid developments in Ukraine.
This is being seen as a huge step which is to have major consequences for European energy security and suggests the western sanctions against Moscow will be tough.
Scholz calls Putin’s actions ‘unjustified and incomprehensible’
The German chancellor Olaf Scholz labeled Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recognition of the separatist territories in eastern Ukraine ‘unjustified and incomprehensible.’
Speaking at a joint press conference with Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin, Scholz said Moscow needed to be held to account for its actions.
‘Now it is down to the international community to respond to this unilateral, unjustified and incomprehensible action taken by the Russian president. We need to coordinate our approach … in order to send a clear signal to Moscow that activities of this kind cannot remain without consequences.’
Scholz added Germany’s energy needs would need to be reassessed by the relevant government authority.
‘In this phase it is important, apart from initial sanctions, to prevent a further escalation and with it a disaster. All of our diplomatic efforts will be aimed at achieving this.’
Why is the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline conflicted?
The Nord Stream 2 project still needed regulatory certification from German authorities before the gas could be delivered, while construction has been completed.
The pipeline has been a source of contention with the US, which has expressed concern that it increases European dependence on Russia for its energy needs.
Earlier this month US President Joe Biden said there would be no chance of the project going ahead if Russian tanks and troops crossed the Ukraine border.
Nord Stream 2 would double the amount of gas flowing from Russia to Germany and would bypass Ukraine, owing to it running along the bed of the Baltic Sea.
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