In a joint press conference with Minister-President Wüst held on the occasion of his visit to North Rhine-Westphalia today, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck commented on the situation in eastern Ukraine and on today’s decision by the Federal Government to halt the certification procedure for Nord Stream 2.
Minister said: “I strongly condemn Russia’s breach of international law. This is a severe violation of international law – committed without any apparent reason, in a way that is cold-blooded and strategically planned. We will give a clear response as we impose coordinated economic sanctions. Today, we decided to halt, for the time being, the authorisation procedure for Nord Stream 2. The geopolitical situation urgently calls for a reassessment of Nord Stream 2.”
In more detail:
The Federal Government has withdrawn the previous government’s Security of Supply Report for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. This was communicated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action in a letter this morning to the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency), which is responsible for the certification of the pipeline. As long as the Security of Supply Report is not updated, the Bundesnetzagentur is unable to issue a favourable certification decision.
The reason for this move is the situation on the German and European gas market this winter, and the deterioration of the geostrategic situation. In particular in view of Russia’s escalation in Ukraine and its breach of international law by its recognising of the two “people’s republics”, it is quite possible that this will impact on the security of supply of the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Union, which is to be assessed in the context of the certification of the transport system operator. A reevaluation is therefore necessary.
A prerequisite for the certification of Nord Stream 2 is that the pipeline should not pose a risk to security of supply in Germany and the European Union. This was the assessment made by the Economic Affairs Ministry under the previous government on 26 October 2021.
The assessment (Security of Supply Report) to be submitted under Section 4b (3) of the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) is to be based on an analysis of the factual and legal basis and can/must be updated if the factual basis changes in any substantial way.