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Olaf Scholz has said the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will not be certified after Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine. “Given Russia’s latest action”, the certification “cannot go ahead,” he said.

The German Chancellor has asked the German regulator to halt the review. “That sounds technical, but it is the necessary administrative step so there can be no certification of the pipeline and without this certification, Nord Stream 2 cannot begin operating,” he said.

Scholz made the announcement in the wake of Vladimir Putin recognising the breakaway provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states.

Scholz has been under pressure from Western allies, particularly the US, to use the closure of Nord Stream to sanction Russia.