German minister says geopolitics factor in Nord Stream 2 approval By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A 3D printed natural gas pipeline sits in front of the Nord Stream 2 logo displayed in this illustration taken February 8, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

WARSAW (Reuters) – The Ukraine crisis will play a role in the approval process for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany from Russia, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Friday, sounding more hawkish than the Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Germany delayed approval of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline until at least the second half of 2022, but did not cancel the near-completed project. US President Joe Biden said on Monday the pipeline would be shut down if Russia invaded Ukraine.

Speaking in Warsaw, Habeck of the Environmental Greens said the approval process would strictly follow EU law.

“And on the other hand, the geopolitical assessment will always influence the approval of Nord Stream 2,” he added.

On Monday, Scholz said the United States and Germany have the same approach to Ukraine, Russia and sanctions, but he did not publicly mention the pipeline by name during the course. of his one-day visit to Washington.

Whether the United States and Germany are on the same page over the $11 billion pipeline project has become a hot issue as the two great democracies lead NATO allies to fend off Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Habeck described the situation in Ukraine as “extremely risky”.

“All diplomatic efforts must be made to defuse this situation,” Habeck told reporters, adding that Russia would face severe sanctions if diplomacy failed.

“I say this knowing that each sanction of course has a cost in its own economy,” he added.

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