The head of Lower Saxony, Stephan Weil, says Berlin’s trust in Moscow as an energy supplier has been irreparably tarnished
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was intended to pump gas from Russia to Germany, is doomed to remain idle indefinitely, the head of Germany’s Lower Saxony region has suggested. Stephan Weil said Berlin would never be able to trust Moscow again as a reliable energy supplier.
In an interview with Germany’s DPA news agency published on Monday, Governor Weil said the pipeline project would not be revived even after Russian President Vladimir Putin leaves office.
“The loss of trust is so fundamental that there will never again be a situation in which a German federal government can rely on energy from Russia,” the official noted.
According to Weil, the “Nord Stream 2 will never go into operation.”
The governor claimed that the Kremlin has burnt its bridges and that “this cooperation is irrecoverably destroyed.”
Weil concluded by proclaiming that the “West will recover from [the situation] faster than Russia.”
The construction of the second leg of the existing Nord Stream pipeline began in May 2018. The project was expected to double Russian gas supplies to Germany.
Despite opposition from the US and some EU member states, the German government staunchly defended the project, and the pipeline was completed. However, Berlin put its launch on hold indefinitely on February 22, after Russia recognized the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, days before Moscow launched its offensive against Ukraine.
In July and August, Russia incrementally reduced gas supplies to Germany via Nord Stream 1, before shutting it down altogether in early September. Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom cited technical issues caused by Western sanctions. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has made it clear that the pipeline will not resume operation until Western sanctions are lifted.
Meanwhile, Berlin has accused Russia of weaponizing gas supplies.
Soaring prices coupled with the closure of the Nord Stream 1 saw the German government put in place emergency measures to ensure the country has enough energy to survive the winter.
Earlier this week, President Putin suggested the West should give the green light to the Nord Stream 2 “if it’s that bad.”
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