Robert Habeck, German Vice-Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, raised the possibility of stopping the Russian project of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in connection with the Russian aggression towards Ukraine. Everything will depend on how the conflict unfolds further, he noted in an interview with the German TV channel ZDF.
"Given the situation in eastern Ukraine and the build-up of the Russian troops there, political decisions will have to be made as to what sanctions can be imposed in case of a new acute conflict," the Minister stated.
Habeck added that Germany "is trying to support Ukraine as a partner country in the field of renewable energy sources." The FRG authorities will allocate 150 million euros for this. This refers, in particular, to the partnership of the parties in the hydrogen production. According to the Vice-Chancellor, this is a way to ensure that the West does not shift its focus from Ukraine as a gas transit country.
The politician stated that he supported the German government's initiative not to interfere in the gas pipeline certification process and to assess it solely from a legal point of view.
How Russia assess Nord Stream 2 launch
Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a meeting on the heating season around the country, stated that the gas pipeline was fully ready for the launch. According to him, the Russian side is ready to immediately start gas supplies to Europe as soon as the corresponding permission is obtained.
"Now, of course, everything depends on our partners, consumers in Europe, the Federal Republic of Germany. As soon as they decide to start working, large volumes, additional volumes of Russian gas will immediately begin to flow to Europe. Let me remind you that this is 55 billion cubic meters per year," Putin said.
Moreover, he added that the Nord Stream 2 launch would reduce gas prices not only for Europe, but also for Ukraine. According to the Russian President, the Ukrainian side has to buy gas at a price of more than $1,000 per thousand cubic meters because it refuses to purchase it directly.
"This, of course, will immediately impact the price on the market, on the spot, and all those countries and consumers of those countries that consume Russian gas, of course, will immediately feel this, in particular, this applies to the economic actors and households, undoubtedly. And even for the same Ukraine, this will be reflected in the price reduction because they take a significant amount of gas, that of Russian origin, at prices of the European market, at a fairly high price," Putin stressed.
Context. Yuriy Vitrenko, the head of Naftogaz, stated earlier that the Nord Stream 2 launch would not change prices on the European energy market downward. He added that it might happen that the gas pipeline would not start operating at all.