European gas prices hit record high after Germany cancels Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

Annalena Baerbock, Germany's Green Party co-chairwoman and top candidate for the upcoming German federal elections, speaks during a statement on the 60th anniversary of the start of the construction of the Berlin Wall in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
By Lucie Ctverakova
3 Min Read

Under the current political conditions, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline leading through the Baltic Sea cannot be put into operation, said Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.

The government of SPD, Greens, and FDP had agreed in the coalition agreement that European energy law would apply to energy projects, explained Baerbock.

“And that means that, as things stand at the moment, this pipeline cannot be approved because it does not meet the requirements of European energy law and the security issues are still in the air,” she was quoted as saying.

The move sent natural gas prices soaring 3 percent to €119.50, surpassing the previous Oct. 5 high of €117.90 on the Dutch month-ahead gas, which is the European benchmark. The record price comes at a time when Europeans are struggling with high inflation, including Germans, who pay the highest prices for energy in the European Union.

In October, Baerbock, the Greens chairwoman, spoke out against commissioning the new Baltic Sea pipeline. y.

“I want European energy law to be complied with. In concrete terms, this means that the company operating Nord Stream 2 must be different from the one supplying the gas. As long as it is the same company, the operating license cannot be granted,” she said at the time.

Furthermore, she accused Russia of being partly responsible for the rise in gas prices in German

“The current high gas prices are primarily the result of high demand and low supply. A Russian poker game can also be observed here: the gas deliveries were properly reduced,” Baerbock said.

The construction and laying of Nord Stream 2 were completed in September. The Federal Network Agency suspended the approval process for parts of the gas pipeline on German territory in mid-November. It wants to decide by the beginning of next year whether it will grant its approval. The prerequisite for this is that the operator “is organized in a legal form under German law.”

Nord Stream 2 is expected to deliver up to 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia to Germany annually. While the Greens reject the project, SPD politicians support the pipeline and call for it to be put into operation as soon as possible.

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