Nord Stream 2 should be commissioned after Ukraine conflict ends and damaged gas pipelines should be fixed, Saxony’s PM has said FILE PHOTO: Prime Minister of the German state of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer © Global Look Press / Wolfgang Kumm
Germany needs to get back to purchasing gas from Russia as soon as the conflict in Ukraine ends, the prime minister of the German eastern state of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, said on Saturday. His nation would still need “pipeline gas” from Russia, the official believes.
“When the war is over, we should use gas from Russia again,” Kretschmer told the German tabloid Bild’s weekend edition when asked what he would say to people demanding the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline be commissioned.
Nord Stream 2 was one of the two pipelines designed to deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany via a route along the bed of the Baltic Sea. The project was shelved in late February as Germany halted its certification process when Russia recognized the two Donbass republics as independent.
Kretschmer believes Germany would need the Russian gas pipeline infrastructure to be fully restored if it seeks to ensure sufficient energy supply. He was asked if he believes the two Nord Stream pipelines damaged in an alleged act of sabotage in late September would be repaired.
Declassified papers show Berlin’s position on Nord Stream 2 – media
“We will need pipeline gas and that is only possible with functioning pipelines,” he told Bild.
Russia should not be the only energy supplier for Germany in the future, the prime minister said, adding that Berlin should also secure long-term gas contracts with the US, Qatar and other Arab nations, as well as “develop our own gas [fields] in the North Sea.”
His words came amid an acute energy crunch in Germany as the EU has been striving to wean itself off Russian energy supplies. Brussels’ sanctions policy against Moscow has so far brought more ill than good to Germany, Kretschmer believes.
Germans urged to ration more gas
An economic “tsunami is building up now,” the state leader warned. According to him, entrepreneurs in Saxony face a “dramatic” struggle “for survival” and many of them “are about to give up” in a matter of “weeks, not months.” Kretschmer also said that the federal government relief measures had not yet been properly implemented, while Berlin’s energy saving tips only “get people annoyed.”
The prime minister also called for a speedy diplomatic solution to the ongoing conflict, adding that the EU should team up with the US, China, India and Japan to stop the war. At the same time, he said there was “not a single reason why Ukraine should give up even one square meter of its territory.” Russia must also compensate for all the damage the conflict dealt to Ukraine, he added.
Four former Ukrainian regions – the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye regions – were officially declared part of Russia in early October, after voters in those territories overwhelmingly supported the move in referendums. Kiev and Western nations, including Germany, declared the votes a “sham” and continue to view the territories as part of Ukraine. (RT)