BERLIN (AP) – A Swiss court has granted the operator of the never-opened Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was built to bring Russian gas to Germany but was put on hold shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine, a four-month extension of its ” postponement of bankruptcy”.
The suspension for Nord Stream 2 AG was extended by a regional court in the canton of Zug (state) from September 10 to January 10, according to a notice published in the Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce on Thursday. The company, a subsidiary of Russia’s Gazprom, is based in Zug.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government halted the pipeline’s certification process on February 22, after Russia recognized the independence of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and two days before Moscow launched its invasion. US President Joe Biden President then instructed his government to impose sanctions on the operating company.
The pipeline project had long drawn opposition from Ukraine and Eastern European countries, as well as bipartisan opposition in the United States.
At the beginning of March, the operating company announced that it had laid off all employees in Zug – up to 110 people according to local authorities.
In recent months, Russia has increasingly reduced deliveries to Europe through existing pipelines. Gazprom said last week that the parallel Nord Stream 1 pipeline – the main source of Russian gas routed to Germany – would remain closed, citing urgent maintenance work to repair key components. The Kremlin has blamed Western sanctions for blocking such work.
Both the technical explanations and calls for sanctions have been dismissed by German officials, who say the disruptions are a political move aimed at creating uncertainty and driving up prices.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has mocked the West by bringing up the prospect of sending gas through Nord Stream 2, a political non-starter for the German government and others. On Wednesday, he reiterated that Moscow is ready to start pumping gas through Nord Stream 2 “as early as tomorrow”.