The operator of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline registered a subsidiary in Germany to bring the project closer to certification.
The new company, registered in Schwerin, will own and operate the 54-kilometer section of the pipeline in German waters, as well as the landfall facility in Lubmin, according to a Jan. 26 press release by Nord Stream 2 AG.
The pipeline was finished in September. The German regulator suspended the certification process in November, saying it needs to have a proper German subsidiary.
Germany's Federal Network Agency on Jan. 26 stated that the certification process will remain suspended until the company can transfer assets and human resources and its documents can be checked. The agency can’t predict when it might resume.
Nord Stream 2 has been a focal point of the current tensions with Russia, which has gathered over 120,000 well-equipped troops near Ukraine’s borders.
The pipeline would be able to send Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating the need for Ukraine’s pipes and with that, a major deterrent against Russian aggression.
Germany has been divided on what to do with the pipeline if Russia attacks. Many in the Social Democratic party want to preserve the project while more Greens want to shut it down, including Germany’s Foreign Affairs Minister Annalena Baerbock.
Germany and other European countries have also reportedly sought exemptions for the energy sector in any sanctions targeting Russia, Bloomberg reported.
The U.S. has had multiple diplomatic meetings with Germany and other allies to discuss consequences for Russia. U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price told NPR that if Russia invades Ukraine, the pipeline would not move forward.