The Swiss company behind the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline Wednesday denial that he filed for bankruptcy but confirmed that he terminated employee contracts.
Why is this important: Long seen as a Kremlin influence project that would increase Europe’s energy dependence on Russia, Nord Stream 2 was one of the first targets of the wave of Western sanctions triggered by the invasion. of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin.
- A local official said Swiss broadcaster SRF Tuesday that the company had filed for bankruptcy and laid off its 106 employees.
- German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said certification of the $11 billion gas pipeline would be suspended last Tuesday, a day after Putin ordered Russian troops into eastern Ukraine on a “security-maintaining” mission. the peace”. The pipeline is fully constructed, but the gas has not yet started flowing.
- The United States then reversed sanctions waivers against Nord Stream 2 AG and its executives, dealing what was likely the fatal blow to a project that had caused major headaches for President Biden and the transatlantic alliance.
What they say : “We cannot confirm media reports that Nord Stream 2 has filed for bankruptcy,” Nord Stream 2 AG – a wholly owned subsidiary of Russia’s Gazprom – said in a statement.
- “The company only informed local authorities that it had to terminate contracts with its employees following recent geopolitical developments that led to the imposition of US sanctions against the company,” he added. .
The company told Reuters Tuesday that he “had to terminate the contracts with the employees. We very much regret this development.”
Between the lines: Even though the West and private companies have decided to completely isolate Russia following its unprovoked attack on Ukraine, former German Chancellor Gerhard SchrÃ¶der – Chairman of the Board of Nord Stream 2 AG – does not has yet to sever its lucrative ties with Russian energy giants.
- Members of his office staff resigned in protest, according to Politics.
Go further: Putin’s war could herald a new energy era
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with a new statement from the operator of Nord Stream 2 denying that it has filed for bankruptcy.