Germany Could Halt Pipeline If Russia Attacks Ukraine, Scholz Signals

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BERLIN/MOSCOW—Germany whitethorn see halting the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia attacks Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz signaled connected Tuesday, arsenic unit grew connected his authorities to instrumentality a much hawkish stance connected the Kremlin.

Scholz met NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg successful Berlin to sermon the adjacent steps aft talks betwixt Russia and Western states connected the Kremlin’s deployment of troops on Ukraine’s borderline ended without a breakthrough past week.

Scholz has antecedently said Germany is unfastened to sanctions successful the lawsuit of a Russian onslaught connected Ukraine, with everything connected the table—which would see the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany which is intended to bring much Russian state to Western Europe.

Some observers accidental helium is sending mixed signals by calling the pipeline, which has already been built but not yet approved for operation, a backstage commercialized task that should not beryllium singled retired for sanctions.

His Social Democrats, the elder spouse successful a three-way authorities coalition, person historically been person to Russia than different German parties, and Berlin is nether unit to find a mode to capable its vigor spread arsenic it withdraws from ember and atomic powerfulness accumulation and becomes much green.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (L) NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (L) speaks during a quality league with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz successful Berlin, connected Jan. 18, 2022. (Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters)

Opponents of Nord Stream 2, including Ukraine and the United States, accidental it volition marque Europe excessively babelike connected Russia for vigor supplies.

Responding to a question connected Nord Stream 2, Scholz told reporters it was “clear that determination volition beryllium a precocious terms to wage and that everything volition person to beryllium discussed should determination beryllium a subject involution successful Ukraine.”

The destiny of the task could yet beryllium retired of Germany’s hands arsenic it is taxable to the support of European Union regulators. The EU’s overseas argumentation chief, Josep Borrell, said past week that support was tied to immoderate imaginable struggle with Russia implicit Ukraine.

More NATO-Russia Talks

Stoltenberg said helium had invited NATO allies and Russia to a further bid of meetings astatine the NATO-Russia Council to sermon ways to amended the information situation, aft an inconclusive archetypal circular of talks successful 2 years past week.

“NATO’s allies are prepared to sermon factual proposals connected however to trim risks and heighten transparency regarding subject activities and however to trim abstraction and cyber threats,” helium told a associated quality league with Scholz.

“We are besides prepared to resume the speech of briefings connected exercises and our respective atomic policies.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock attends a quality league successful Moscow, connected Jan. 18, 2022. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

Russia denies plans to onslaught Ukraine. But Moscow says it could instrumentality unspecified subject enactment if its demands—including a committedness by the NATO confederation ne'er to admit Kyiv—are not met.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said earlier connected Tuesday during a sojourn to spot Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov successful Moscow that it was hard not to measure Russia’s subject build-up adjacent Ukraine’s borders arsenic “a threat.”

Lavrov suggested Nord Stream 2 would adhd to some German and European vigor security, saying Moscow “drew the attraction of our German colleagues to the counter-productiveness of attempts to politicize this project.”

By Sabine Siebold and Alexander Ratz

Reuters

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