Technical availability of Nord Stream 2 is currently ‘not a given’, says Berlin – POLITICO

The government of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday that the « technical availability » of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was no longer « a given ».

Explosions near the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea in September caused massive leaks in Nord Stream pipelines between Russia and Germany. Western leaders called the incident a deliberate act of « sabotage » designed to disrupt Europe’s energy infrastructure and supply.

In response to a parliamentary question from a member of the far-right Alternative for Germany party, the government said « it is very likely that the act of sabotage, with loud explosions, had a negative impact on both pipeline chains, and that the technical availability basis [of Nord Stream 2] is therefore no longer acquired for the moment. »

He also pointed out that the pipeline still does not have the necessary safety certification to enter service, German media reported.

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin – whom some Western leaders have said is likely the culprit – said that if Europe wants gas flowing through the pipeline, « the taps can be turned on and that’s all ».

Unlike Nord Stream 1, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has never been in service because Berlin halted the certification process for the controversial pipeline in February, shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Russia cut off gas flows in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in early September, in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Moscow for its war in Ukraine.

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