The German Ministry of Finance is studying the possibility of nationalizing sections of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that run through the country, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday, citing sources.
The newly built Russian pipeline has not operated because Germany stopped its certification prior to the conflict in Ukraine.
According to the publication, the federal government is looking into whether the part of the system that is located on German soil could be cut off from the rest of the pipeline. The tubes leading from land to sea could then be connected to a mobile LNG terminal, it said.
The news about the possible expropriation comes amid growing concerns in Germany over Russian gas supply. Last week, shipments to Europe by Russia’s Gazprom via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline fell to about 40% of capacity because of parts shortages caused by sanctions on Moscow.
The Kremlin called the reports about the possibility of Nord Stream 2 being expropriated hypothetical.
“If there are such actions, it will be a job for lawyers to give a legal assessment to that, if that is really being discussed. But without knowing the essence of what is happening, it would be wrong to say something,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline stretches from the Russian coast under the Baltic Sea to Germany. Its construction was completed in September 2021, and by December it was ready for operation. However, German authorities stopped the certification of the pipeline prior to the conflict in Ukraine. The two-string pipeline was designed to pump 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually.