On Tuesday German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was asked directly in a press Q&A whether a Russian military offensive in Ukraine might lead to NATO military intervention on behalf of Kiev.
Scholz responded by underlining “serious” political and economic consequences, but appeared to rule out any assistance from Germany on the military front, saying there won’t be arms deliveries either. But importantly, he said that Berlin would mull halting the flow of natural gas from Russia.
“Germany may consider halting the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia attacks Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz signaled on Tuesday, as pressure grew on his government to take a more hawkish stance on the Kremlin,” Reuters reports of the statements made after he met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
The ‘options on the table’ would include sanctioning the pipeline as well. Though amid already soaring energy prices in a frigid European winter, this ‘option’ would at the same time involve Germany shooting itself in the foot, if urgent supply needs can’t be met elsewhere.
“It is clear that there will be a high price to pay and that everything will have to be discussed should there be a military intervention in Ukraine,” Scholz said.
But the chancellor added: “We are not interested in long-term tensions, quite the contrary. But it is also important that everyone adheres to the principles that we have agreed on, and this means that Russia must adhere to the principles of the OSCE [the Organization for Security Co-Operation in Europe].”
He called for Russia to reduce its troop presence near Ukraine, while highlight that both Russia nad Germany desire to maintain “constructive and stable relations.”
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