Russian supplies to Europe /
By Annie Cook

Germany’s ministry of the economy confirmed on Tuesday that the certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline “will not jeopardise the security of gas supplies to Germany and the European Union,” reported the Neue Zuercher Zeitung.

Earlier, Russia asked Germany to certify the pipeline by January 8, confirming that the first line of NS2 is filled with so-called technical gas and prepared for operation, but that “gas will only be able to start flowing after official approval”.

In the lead-up to the final commissioning of NS2, “an important intermediate step has been taken to complete the security of supply analysis,” reported the Neue Zuercher Zeitung, explaining that federal ministry of the economy on Tuesday concluded that the issuing of the certificate would not jeopardise the security of gas supplies to Germany and the EU. The analysis was provided to the Federal Network Agency, which is to continue the certification process and “examine other legally necessary regulatory conditions.”

“The security of supply analysis is required by law. Basically, the aim is to verify whether a supplier from a so-called third country can sell gas on the EU internal market,” explains the Neue Zuercher Zeitung. According to the ministry, the analysis was preceded by consultations with neighbouring EU countries, including Italy, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Russian representatives have been announcing for weeks that “European consumers can expect additional gas supplies to alleviate the current energy shortage only if they are prepared to do something in return: give official approval for the start of supplies through the pipeline,” Die Welt stresses.

Europe’s most controversial energy project, led by Russian gas company Gazprom, has also faced resistance from the United States and Ukraine who say Russian President Vladimir Putin could use NS2 as a tool to achieve political goals and bypass Ukraine as a gas transit country,” Reuters emphasises.

On Thursday, Putin argued that Nord Stream 2 is not only in the interests of Russia’s Gazprom, but also of European companies that are partners in the project.

In a statement on the current gas crisis in Europe, the Russian president said that countries which have concluded long-term gas supply contracts with Gazprom are now receiving gas at four times less than the spot price.

He also stated that gas supplies through Nord Stream 2 would be several times more eco-friendly than when transiting through Ukraine.