Nord Stream 2 must be in line with European regulation to receive permit – Baerbock
German Green party co-leader Annalena Baerbock has said that the controversial Russian-German natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 should only be granted its operating permit if it adheres to European energy law. “The operator of Nord Stream 2 must be different from the one who is supplying the gas," she said in an interview with Funke-Mediengruppe. "As long as it is one and the same company, the operating permit must not be granted.” The politician said Russia is playing a “poker game” with gas supplies and resulting prices in an effort to speed up the commissioning process of the pipeline, and added that Europe should not “let itself be blackmailed”. “The problem is that Russia is delivering gas to Europe according to contract, but the gas storage facilities are comparatively empty. This was probably deliberately brought about by Russia in order to force Nord Stream 2 into operation quickly - even if not all legal requirements have been met yet.” Becoming less dependent on fossil energy imports is one of the reasons Germany has to ramp up renewable energy production, she said.
The German-Russian gas pipeline has been completed but has not been taken into operation, in part because the German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has yet to assess compliance with energy company laws. EU rules require the companies that produce, transport and distribute gas within the bloc to be separate, or "unbundled". The Green Party is currently in talks with the Social Democrats (SPD) and the pro-business FDP to form Germany's next federal government.