Nord Stream 2 halted as Ukraine crisis deepens and war looms
The controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project has been halted after Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.
The undersea pipeline, which was to transport natural gas directly from Russia to northern Germany, is owned by a subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned Gazprom.
In a statement the German government said: “The situation today is fundamentally different and therefore, in light of recent events, we must also reassess this situation also with regard to Nord Stream 2.”
The $11 billion (9.25 billion) Nord Stream 2, designed to double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline to 110 billion cubic metres per year, has been a focal point of tensions between Moscow and Washington for the last few years.
The gas pipeline project is led by Russian giant Gazprom, with half of the funding coming from five European partners – Germany’s Uniper, BASF’s Wintershall, Anglo-Dutch Shell, Austria’s OMV and Engie.
The project is designed as two parallel 48-inch lines, roughly 1,200 kilometres long, each starting southwest of St Petersburg and ending at German coast, Greifswald.
The gas pipelines will have the capacity to transport 55 billion cubic meters of Russian gas a year to the EU, for at least 50 years.
Ukraine has long described the €10 billion project — whose construction was completed in September but has yet to start operating — as a threat to its security.
Nord Stream 2 bypasses the country, and Kyiv had raised concerns that this would allow Russia to shut off gas transport via existing land pipelines, costing Ukraine billions in transit fees.
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