A classified report available to Germany in October 2021 showed that the country was warned that Russia could use its gas pipelines as a weapon before the invasion of Ukraine.

The report had indicated that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would increase Europe’s energy security rather than threatening it. The undersea pipeline never went into operation after Chancellor Olaf Scholz withdrew the report in February.

Although Poland, Lithuania and other countries that feared Russia’s intentions, expressed their fears at the time, German officials took the soundings unserious, and saw no reason to block the pipeline’s certification.

Germany said at the time that it sympathised with the worries of Poland and others who said Russia could use Nord Stream 2 to pressure its neighbours. Thye country actually said they had not shown any concrete evidence for their concern that Gazprom would cut supplies.

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“Gas deliveries from the Soviet Union and later Russia to Germany have taken place reliably and as per contract for decades, including in times of political tension,” The National quoted the report.
Officials said Russian exporter Gazprom, and the other co-owners of Nord Stream 2, had “no economic interest” in stopping exports to Germany.

True to the warning, Russia’s Gazprom did cut supplies to Germany on the parallel Nord Stream 1 route. Russia cited technical reasons that western powers saw as spurious. The resulting energy crisis has prompted a scramble to diversify supplies, with ministers in Mr Scholz’s government expressing regret that Germany became so reliant on Moscow.

However, the report shows Germany was arguing only a year ago that Nord Stream 2 would diversify supplies by linking western Europe to new gas fields in Russia’s north.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also opposed the pipeline, which bypasses Ukraine and was projected to cost the country $2 billion a year in transit fees.
He warned in August 2021 that Russia could deliberately cut supplies in the gas market in order to raise the price.

Nevertheless, the German report concluded: “The Nord Stream 2 pipeline represents additional capacity for the energy security of the EU and its member states, including Germany.

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“Granting certification does not endanger the security of gas supply for Germany or the European Union.”
The assessment by Germany’s economy ministry was handed to regulators last October, clearing the way for them to approve the pipeline.

In the event, approval was delayed for technical reasons, then put on ice indefinitely when Mr Scholz rescinded the report in February, two days before the invasion of Ukraine.

Reports monitored last weekend said the document has been declassified after pressure from German media organisations to release it. It came after parts of Nord Stream 2 and the parallel Nord Stream 1 were apparently put beyond use by mysterious explosions under the Baltic Sea last month.

The blasts appeared to have put the Nord Stream route beyond use for the time being, except for one of the two pipes that makes up Nord Stream 2. The investigations are on
Germany last week rejected Russian President’s offer to switch on into use second of the Nord Stream pipeline.


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