OREANDA-NEWS Russia will remain without compensation for the «Nord Stream — 2» gas pipeline if the German regulator recognizes it does not comply with the legal norms of the European Union. This was stated by the German Economy Minister, Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck in an interview with Der Spiegel published on Friday, January 21.

«Currently, the Federal Agency for Networks has suspended the certification procedure. If it is renewed, its purpose will be to decide whether the conditions for certification are met in accordance with German and European regulations. And if this is not the case, then compensation is not due», he explained.

When asked whether the refusal to use the SP-2 should not become part of retaliatory sanctions against Russia in the event of a military invasion of Ukraine, Habeck replied: «There should be no prohibitions on thinking». He recalled that the communique agreed in July 2021 by Germany and the United States, which states that if energy is used by Russia as a weapon, it will have consequences, remains relevant. «Russia knows that crossing red lines will immediately lead to tough sanctions that have been prepared for a long time», the minister added.

Robert Habeck stressed the geopolitical nature of the new gas pipeline: «Nord Stream – 2» has always been a geopolitical project in the sense that thanks to the new pipeline, Ukraine as a transit country becomes unnecessary». The minister called Germany's heavy dependence on Russian gas a fact and called it his task to reduce this dependence, including by diversifying fuel supplies.

«Currently, Germany receives 55 percent of the gas it needs from Russia. But the EU has facilities for receiving liquefied gas, for example, in the Netherlands, Poland and Italy. These terminals are only 30 percent loaded. If they are loaded at 100 percent, it will be possible to meet most of the import needs at the expense of LNG», Habeck said. At the same time, he admitted that liquefied natural gas is much more expensive and evaded a direct answer to the question whether the state is ready to compensate consumers for higher costs.