Nord Stream 2
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is complete but still faces obstacles to go into operation
The controversial gas pipeline connecting Germany and Russia has been completed — but German officials have now blocked its certification process.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is complete but still faces obstacles to go into operation

The subsidiary set to operate the German part of Nord Stream 2 does not meet the conditions to be an "independent transmissions operator," a German regulator said on Tuesday.

It could be certified only "if that operator was organized in a legal form under German law," Germany's Federal Network Agency said.

The certification would stay suspended "until the main assets and human resources have been transferred to the subsidiary," the officials added.

The suspension comes as the Switzerland-based company Nord Stream 2 AG plans to establish a subsidiary under German law only for the German section of the pipeline.

Nord Stream 2 said it had been notified by the regulator but said, "We are not in the position to comment on the details of the procedure, its possible duration and impacts on the timing of the start of the pipeline operations."

Controversial project

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is to transport gas from Russia to Germany and to other countries. It is owned by Russian-controlled gas giant Gazprom with investment from several European companies.

The pipeline was built under the Baltic Sea and bypasses Poland and Ukraine, which have both raised objections. Ukraine stands to lose revenue if gas to Europe is not conveyed through its territory. Poland, for its part, fears the project will further strengthen Gazprom's already dominant position in the region.

The project has also been opposed by several other countries, including, notably, the US, which says it will dangerously increase Europe's dependence on Russia for its energy supply.

However, despite opposing the pipeline in principle, the Biden administration in July dropped efforts to block it with sanctions, striking a deal with Germany that includes support for Ukraine and the threat of sanctions if Russia is deemed to "weaponize" fuel deliveries.

Comment: So the Biden admin dropped it's sanctions efforts, only to replace them with the threat of sanctions? Luckily for Europe, Russia isn't about to abuse its position, the same can't be said of the US with its weaponisation of sanctions.

Recently, critics accused Russia of deliberately cutting its gas supply to Europe as a ploy to speed up Germany's certification of the pipeline. Moscow has denied the allegations.