Putin given 'vast power' over European economies says expert
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The German energy market regulator released a statement to say that they could not certify the Nord Stream 2 company as an independent operator. This is because the company is based in Switzerland, not in Germany. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the EU faced a choice between approving the controversial pipeline and standing with Ukraine.
This is because the pipeline bypasses Ukraine to bring Russian gas directly into the heart of Germany.
Speaking in London this week he said: “We hope that our European friends may recognise that a choice is shortly coming between mainlining ever more Russian hydrocarbons in giant new pipelines, and sticking up for Ukraine and championing the cause of peace and stability.”
The regulator released a statement that said: “Following a thorough examination of the documentation, the regulator concluded that it would only be possible to certify an operator of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if that operator was organised in a legal form under German law.”
The announcement saw European gas futures prices rising by 10 percent.
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The futures market was reacting to the higher bills that businesses and households will have to pay.
The higher gas prices could lead to blackouts in Europe in the event of a colder than average winter.
The decision by German regulators could exacerbate rising tension between the European Union and Russia over Ukraine and a migrant crisis on the Belarus-Poland border.
The EU derives about 40 percent of its gas from Russia.
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Nord Stream 2 bypasses Ukraine and connects Russia directly to Germany.
The pipeline was completed in September.
However, during the construction phase, the pipeline faced opposition from the EU’s allies.
The most vocal opposition came from the US.
Washington warned that the pipeline would serve to increase Moscow’s influence on the EU.
Russia has been accused of withholding natural gas from the EU as the dispute over the pipeline increased.
However, Russian deputy prime minister Alexander Novak said last month that “early completion of the certification” for Nord Stream 2 would help “cool off the current situation.”
Jeremy Weir, CEO of energy trading company Trafigura, told a Financial Times conference that, “we haven’t got enough gas at the moment, quite frankly.
“We’re not storing for the winter period.
“So hence there is a real concern that if we have a cold winter that we could have rolling blackouts in Europe.”
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