Germany said Tuesday it will halt the certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline designed to bring natural gas from Russia directly to Europe after President Putin recognized breakaway regions in east Ukraine and said Russian troops would move into the area to act as peacekeepers.
Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany would not accept the recognition of the two self-proclaimed, pro-Russian separatist regions in the Donbas region of east Ukraine and that Germany had to reassess the situation “in particular regarding Nord Stream 2,” Reuters reported.
The $11 billion pipeline is designed to double the amount of gas flowing from Russia to Germany and it was completed late last year. German regulators had yet to give the green light to the pipeline to officially open, however.
In the course of a dramatic few hours on Monday evening, Putin said Russia would recognize the independence of two self-proclaimed and pro-Russian republics in eastern Ukraine, and then said he would send Russian troops to the region on a “peacekeeping” mission.
Many fear that the sending of troops into the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic — areas in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine that have been backed by Russia — is a precursor to a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.