Germany has made a big move in response to Russia's recent actions in Ukraine.
After Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into eastern Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday announced the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline's certification process would be halted, Axios reports.
Scholz said that in light of Russia's actions, "the situation has fundamentally changed." The German chancellor said he was taking the step so that "no certification of the pipeline can now take place," and "without this certification, Nord Stream 2 cannot go into operation," per Politico. Ukraine had argued the pipeline that runs directly from Russia to Germany is a "threat to Ukraine's security, not just our economy."
Much of the natural gas from Russia now flows through Ukraine.
In a joint news conference with Scholz, President Biden previously warned that "if Russia invades, that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine again, there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2," per NPR. "We will bring an end to it." The U.S. has been opposed to the pipeline under both Biden and former President Donald Trump, with Biden calling it a "bad deal."
Germany's move to end the certification process for the pipeline was a "huge step after refusing to be drawn on it in public for months," wrote Financial Times Moscow bureau chief Max Seddon, adding, "It'll have major consequences for European energy security and suggests the Western sanctions against Moscow will be tough."