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EU Trade Commissioner Says Nord Stream 2 'on Pause' Pending Review of Compliance With European Laws

© REUTERS / Maxim ShemetovFILE PHOTO: The logo of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project is seen on a pipe at the Chelyabinsk pipe rolling plant in Chelyabinsk, Russia, February 26, 2020
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project is seen on a pipe at the Chelyabinsk pipe rolling plant in Chelyabinsk, Russia, February 26, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.01.2022
The pipeline was completed almost half a year ago, but it hasn't been launched yet as German and European authorities have halted its certification, citing possible violations of energy laws. Nord Stream AG has already registered a German operator for the pipeline in an attempt to speed up the process.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been "put on pause" as the EU reviews it for the compliance with the bloc's energy policy, European Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis has stated. He added that the EU is doing everything in its power to prevent Moscow from using its gas as a "weapon".
Dombrovskis further said that Nord Stream 2 does not correspond to the EU's long-term energy goals of decarbonisation, referring to the bloc's plans to achieve net zero emissions by the middle of the century.

Nord Stream 2 Certification

The statement comes as the pipeline, which was finished last year and has the capacity to deliver 55 billion of cubic metres of Russian gas to Europe annually, still lacks certification by EU authorities. The latter are examining Nord Stream 2 for compliance with the amended EU gas directive, which requires the owner of the pipeline to either share it with other energy companies or hand over control of it to a third party.
Nord Stream AG has challenged the EU claims that the gas directive applies to the pipeline, which is a joint international project of Russia’s Gazprom and several European energy giants.
The hold up on Nord Stream 2's certification continues despite Europe struggling to cope with high gas prices, which surged sharply last year, at times hitting $2,000 per cubic metre.
U.S. State Department Under Secretary for Public Affairs Victoria Nuland speaks during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.01.2022
Nuland: US to Work With Germany to Block Nord Stream 2 if Russia 'Invades' Ukraine
Some European politicians, as well as their US counterparts, were quick to accuse Russia of using gas supplies to pressure the EU amid the ongoing crisis around Ukraine. At the same time, Europe was unable to make up for the gas shortage by buying LNG due to shipments being bought up almost entirely by surging Asian economies last year amid a global energy shortage.
As the US has accused Russia of being behind the European gas shortages, its attempt to find alternative sources of LNG for the EU reportedly yielded no results, as energy companies around the world assured Washington that they were already working at their maximum capacities. Moscow, in turn, rejected all the accusations and stressed that it was fulfilling all of its gas supply contracts.
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