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Germany's decision on Nord Stream 2 will irrevocably affect relations with Russia -- MFA

Berlin's decision to stop certification of the Nord Stream 2 project will cause irreversible damage to Russian-German relations, Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a comment.

"We would like to declare that Berlin's decision to stop the project will result in irreversible damage to Russian-German relations, which have been far from cloudless in recent years through no fault of ours. Responsibility for the consequences of these illegitimate actions, which call into question the reputation of Germany as a reliable foreign economic partner, rests entirely on the German side," the document says.

"We believe the decision of German authorities to terminate the process of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline certification is unacceptable and mischievous from the standpoint of norms of international commercial law," Zakharova said.

"We believe this is a classic precedent of using the commercial project as the political weapon against us, which the collective West at large and official Berlin, in particular, are so fond of blaming Moscow for," she added.

"The abovementioned instruction to the German regulator was given by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, in which they just recently spoke about the project as about a purely commercial initiative of private investors. Also, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz himself, who directly initiated the abovementioned actions, had assured earlier that the certification process for Nord Stream 2 has exclusively regulatory nature and cannot in any way be connected with the political situation," Zakharova noted.

"Now it is obvious that the German authorities were inconsistent and "succumbed to the temptation to use the project as a leverage of pressure on Russia, thereby showing their inability to separate politics and economics," the diplomat stresses in her comment.

"The direct political ban on the certification of Nord Stream 2, introduced on February 22, is the logical high point of the aforementioned doctrine of the priority of politics over the economy in the context of its implementation," Zakharova said.

Gas price hike in EU as a consequence

"In this context, our position regarding energy cooperation with Germany and with Europe as a whole remains unchanged," Zakharova stressed. She recalled that Russia has constantly emphasized the purely economic, commercial nature of Nord Stream 2 and its compliance with EU regulations.

"The timely commissioning of this gas pipeline would be in the interests of both Russia and Europe. In addition to mutual benefit, the new route is designed to contribute to the diversification of gas supply and become a stabilizing component for the gas market in Europe. Apparently, this will not happen in the near future, since the project has become a hostage of artificial linkage with other political plots. As we already see, the inevitable consequence of the abandonment of Nord Stream 2 will be a rapid increase in gas prices in the European market," she concluded.

Situation around Nord Stream 2

On February 22, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that the German government was suspending the certification of the Nord Stream 2 project after Russia recognized the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. The next day, US President Joe Biden ordered his administration to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its leadership in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine.

The construction of Nord Stream 2 was fully completed on September 10, 2021. Initially, it was planned to be completed before the end of 2019, but due to Washington's sanctions, the construction was delayed. The gas pipeline consists of two strings with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year, which run from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany.

[Source: Tass, Moscow, 02Mar22]

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