The head of Lower Saxony, Stephan Weil, says Berlin’s trust in Moscow as an energy supplier has been irreparably tarnished
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was intended to pump gas from Russia to Germany, is doomed to remain idle indefinitely, the head of Germany’s Lower Saxony region has suggested. Stephan Weil claimed that Berlin wouldn’t be able again to trust Moscow as a reliable supplier of energy.
In an interview with Germany’s DPA news agency published on Monday, Governor Weil said the pipeline project would not be revived even after Russian President Vladimir Putin leaves office.
“This is because trust has been lost so deeply that a German Federal Government cannot rely on Russian energy.” the official noted.
According to Weil, the “Nord Stream 2 is not going to be operational.”
The governor claimed that the Kremlin has burnt its bridges and that “This cooperation can’t be restored.”
Weil concluded by proclaiming that the “West will be able to recover [the situation] Russia is faster.”
In May 2018, construction began on the second section of Nord Stream’s existing pipeline. This project would double Russian gas supply to Germany.
The German government stood firm in defense of the project, despite opposition from some EU members states and the US. In the end, the pipeline was successfully completed. However, Berlin put its launch on hold indefinitely on February 22, after Russia recognized the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, days before Moscow launched its offensive against Ukraine.
Russia gradually reduced its gas supply to Germany through Nord Stream 1 in July and august, before closing it completely down in September. Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom cited technical issues caused by Western sanctions. Dmitry Peskov of the Kremlin stated clearly that the pipeline won’t resume operations until Western sanctions are lifted.
Berlin accuses Russia of using gas supply weapons.
In response to rising prices, and the loss of Nord Stream 1’s transport route, the German government implemented emergency measures in order to provide enough energy for the country to weather the winter.
Earlier this week, President Putin suggested the West should give the green light to the Nord Stream 2 “if it’s that bad.”