German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced the suspension of the certification process of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline citing Russia's course of action over Ukraine.
"The situation today has fundamentally changed," he told the media on Tuesday. "We will reassess the situation that has evolved over the past few days." "I asked the Economy Ministry on Tuesday to withdraw the existing report on the analysis of supply security at the Federal Network Agency," Scholz said, adding that it was a necessary administrative step to prevent the certification and thus the operation of Nord Stream 2, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs would now make a new assessment of the security of supply taking the last days' development into account, he said.
Russia's decision to recognise "the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR)" and "the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR)" as independent states was a "serious breach of international law" that violated the Minsk agreements and the Charter of the United Nations, Scholz added.
The German Chancellor said it is now important to "prevent a further escalation, and thus a catastrophe. That is what all our diplomatic efforts are aimed at". The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is expected to transport 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas annually from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. The 1,234-km pipeline, however, has been lying idle, pending a go-ahead from Germany and the European Union.