(Montel) The contested German-Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project will not receive the necessary permits to operate in Germany, a spokeswoman for the ministry of economy told Montel late on Friday.
“The German government has decided that the [Nord Stream 2] pipeline will not be used,” the spokeswoman said, adding the country planned to phase out Russian gas imports by 2024.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz ordered a reassessment of the country’s security of gas supply on 22 February as a response to Russia's pending war, which involved a rethink of the completed Nord Stream 2.
The assessment is a prerequisite for Germany’s BNA network regulator to approve or deny an operating licence for the 55 bcm/year gas pipeline.
Scholz did not give a timeline for the potential reassessment but Russia invaded Ukraine two days later.
“The analysis has now become outdated,” the spokeswoman said.
Since the outbreak of the war, Germany and other Western countries have scrambled to sever ties with Russia. Berlin has since opposed a full embargo on Russian gas deliveries, however, fearing such a measure could damage Germany economically.
On Friday, the country’s central bank warned that an immediate EU ban on Russian gas imports would dent GDP by 5% this year.
Several analysts have said Nord Stream 2 is “dead” and investors Shell, Uniper, OMV, Wintershall and Engie have in recent weeks announced huge write-downs on their investments in the project, which is majority owned by Russia's Gazprom.