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The European Union would target Russia-led gas pipeline project Nord Stream 2 if Russian invades Ukraine, as part of an EU package of sanctions being prepared in case of an armed conflict, Austria said on Monday.
“Certification (of the pipeline) would then be stopped (if Russia invaded). There is no question about that. That, therefore, means that Nord Stream 2 is part of the sanctions,” Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said during a news conference on Monday, as quoted by Reuters.
The pipeline construction is completed, but Nord Stream 2 is awaiting full regulatory clearance from Germany and a review by the European Union over its compliance with EU energy regulations.
However, in case Russia invades Ukraine, Nord Stream 2 may never see the light of day.
Earlier this month, U.S. President Joe Biden issued a threat for the Nord Stream 2 project if Russia were to invade Ukraine, although he did not elaborate on how such a move would be made.
“If Russia invades -- that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine, again, then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2,” the U.S. President said at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, as quoted by CNBC. “We will bring an end to it.”
Amid heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and Russia and the West over Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told CNBC last week that “everything is on the table,” including energy-related sanctions against Russia.
“Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Lavrov are scheduled to meet later this week in Europe, provided Russia does not proceed with military action. President Biden accepted in principle a meeting with President Putin following that engagement, again, if an invasion hasn’t happened,” the White House said on Sunday, referring to the latest diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the Russia-Ukraine situation.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com,