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Germany warns of 'consequences' for Nord Stream 2 if Russia invades Ukraine

AFP
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Germany warns of 'consequences' for Nord Stream 2 if Russia invades Ukraine
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock speaks in the Bundestag, as Chancellor Olaf Scholz sits to her right. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Bernd von Jutrczenka

Germany on Thursday vowed serious consequences for Russia if it invaded Ukraine, with sanctions expected to hit the disputed Nord Stream 2 pipeline built to bring Russian gas to Europe.

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"We are working on a strong package of sanctions" with Western allies, and it covers several aspects "including Nord Stream 2", Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told parliament.

Nord Stream 2 is set to double supplies of cheap natural gas from Russia to Germany, which the EU's top economy says is needed to help transition away from coal and nuclear energy.

Germany's insistence over the years on the 10-billion-euro ($12 billion) gas pipeline had angered allies, who fear it would increase Europe's dependence on Russian supplies.

READ ALSO: Opinion - Germany is in a muddle over Russia - and it only itself to blame

But with the drums of war getting louder, Germany's new Chancellor Olaf Scholz, on his first day in office, warned of consequences for the pipeline if Russia made a move on Ukraine.

It was completed in September but Germany's energy regulator BNetzA has said the approval process for the pipeline is likely to drag into the second half of 2022.

On Wednesday, Economy Minister Robert Habeck acknowledged that if sanctions had to be deployed against Russia, the German economy would also suffer.

"If there are to be sanctions, there will be none that won't hit the German economy," he told a news conference.

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US President Joe Biden has said he would consider adding direct sanctions on Vladimir Putin to a raft of measures being drawn up.

A senior US official has said that new sanctions would include restrictions on exports of high-tech US equipment in the artificial intelligence, quantum computing and aerospace sectors.

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jrochester55 2022/01/28 10:57
How much economic pain is Germany willing to suffer over Ukraine if sanctions are applied? Politicians have yet to say. But Russia can leverage the pipeline to its advantage by threatening or actually cutting off the flow of natural gas. This provides the Kremlin tremendous power to influence Germany's affairs both politically and economically, especially the latter. That is the "ace" card they hold and Berlin knows it.
  • cflynn2388 2022/01/28 13:33
    Why do you think Germany sends Ukraine 5,000 helmets. And a handful of tents. Looks like their helping. Although I f I were Ukraine I think I'd prefer a massive banner that says. Your on your own. Lots of love USSR Deutschland. I doubt the government really cares though. I bet they can afford sky high heating bills.
cflynn2388 2022/01/27 14:43
Years of poor policies and bad choices have lead to this situation. Now there's nothing to be done. Either allow Russia to do as it pleases or force the poorer parts of society into destitution with spiralling costs. With this government we will probably end up doing both.
  • stuart.laing 2022/01/27 15:45
    They should stop calling it a pipeline and call it what it is - an umbilical cord. Personally , I think it's only a matter of time before Ukraine, US or UK special forces or another Baltic country quietly blows it up

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