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Germany can never rely on Russia for energy supply again, and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project will never go ahead, Stephan Weil, Minister-President of the northwestern German state of Lower Saxony, said.
Germany suspended the Russia-led Nord Stream 2 project in February after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the pipeline construction was complete, but Nord Stream 2 was awaiting full regulatory clearance from Germany and a review by the European Union over its compliance with EU energy regulations.
The reviews were never done. Europe and Germany started to diversify their gas supply with more LNG cargoes from the United States and more supply from Norway and North Africa.
Germany, Europe’s biggest economy and the biggest gas customer of Russia, continued to import gas via Nord Stream until Russia shut it down early this month.
In early September, after a three-day halt to the flows, Russia’s gas giant Gazprom said that Nord Stream would remain closed indefinitely, and blamed the Western sanctions for this situation.
Speaking to German media this week, Lower Saxony’s Weil said, “The loss of trust is so fundamental that there will never again be a situation in which a German government can rely on energy from Russia.”
“Nord Stream 2 will never go into operation,” Weil added.
Last week, Putin said that Russia had nothing to do with Europe’s energy crisis and that if Europe wanted more gas, it just had to “push the button” on Nord Stream 2 and “everything will get going,” that is, lift the sanctions on Nord Stream 2.
Meanwhile, signs are mounting that the German economy is slipping into recession, which will deepen as we head into the winter months amid the ongoing natural gas and energy crisis, Bundesbank, the central bank of Germany, said in its monthly report on Monday.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.