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BERLIN — The German government plans to convert parts of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline into a connection for a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Baltic Sea coast.

Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday that the German economy ministry is considering expropriating the part of the gas pipeline network located on German territory and cutting it off from the rest of the pipeline. The report does not cite any sources.

Russia said it would be lawyers’ business if Germany took such action.

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Russian gas giant Gazprom completed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, designed to double the flow of Russian gas directly to Germany, late last year, but it has yet to be used. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced it would not be operational after severing relations with Moscow before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Natural gas flows from Russia have been declining for weeks and Germany, aware of the risk of economically damaging energy shortages, is seeking emergency landing points for liquefied natural gas purchased on the global spot market. .

Germany has chartered four specialized carriers, called FSRUs, to regasify LNG offshore and inject it into onshore pipeline systems.

A landing site in the Baltic Sea to complement those at Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuettel on the North Sea would increase capacity.

Eastern and southern Germany are particularly dependent on the Russian pipeline and would benefit from diversification, Spiegel said.

Onshore pipelines that would have carried Nord Stream 2 gas could be repurposed. (Writing by Paul Carrel and Vera Eckert, editing by Rachel More, Thomas Escritt and Susan Fenton)

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