Top German politician makes Nord Stream 2 plea

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Berlin should certify the gas pipeline from Russia to ensure there’s enough winter fuel, the Bundestag vice speaker said

Germany should certify the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and use it to get enough fuel from Russia to get through the upcoming cold season, Wolfgang Kubicki, the deputy speaker of the German parliament, said.

The move must be taken “as soon as possible to fill our gas storage for the winter,” the politician from the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP) told the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND) in an interview published on Friday. The party is part of the German ruling coalition.

Berlin suspended certification of the fully complete route for Russian natural gas to put pressure on Moscow amid the crisis in Ukraine. The German government said under no circumstances should it be used, even though the country faces gas shortages.

Russian gas giant Gazprom reduced supplies through the older Nord Stream 1 route citing technical problems caused by anti-Russian sanctions. Berlin said the move was politically motivated. Gazprom has also been unable to use a transit route through Ukraine to supply European customers, reporting that the operator was refusing its bids for capacity.

READ MORE: Germany discloses stance on emergency use of Russian gas pipeline

Kubicki argued that since Germany was getting gas from Russia to heat homes and run industries, it was irrelevant which pipeline was used to get the job done.

“Once the gas storage tanks are full, we can close Nord Stream 2 again – and the other pipelines too, once we have become independent. But we’re not there yet,” he said.

He also dismissed the argument that Russian President Vladimir Putin would use certification of Nord Stream 2 to score political points.

“Putin’s greatest propaganda success would be if we ran out of gas while he was still getting a lot of money from us. This must be prevented,” the politician said.

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