Berlin cites lack of required certification for the pipeline to be used
Germany is not going to put Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline into operation even if the situation with energy supplies deteriorates in the coming months, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said on Monday.
"What is clear is that we stand firmly on the side of Ukraine, that we support the sanctions that we jointly adopted in the EU and in consultations with the international community... What is also clear is that Nord Stream 2 is not certified and is not currently going through the certification process and thus is not available [for operation]," the spokesman said at a press briefing.
When asked specifically if German Chancellor Olaf Scholz rules out using the pipeline in the coming fall and winter if the situation with gas supplies in the region becomes more complicated, Hebestreit said "yes, he rules it out."
The government representative agreed that the upcoming heating season may be difficult for Germany, but noted that the government is taking the necessary steps to ease the situation.
The construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, aimed at boosting Russian natural gas supplies to the EU, was completed last year. However, Berlin halted its certification shortly before Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in late February.
Hebestreit's comments echo those of German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, who said last month that Germany does not plan to revive the Nord Stream 2 certification process despite fears of supply disruptions, and urged his country to conserve natural gas and continue decreasing its dependence on supplies from Russia.
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