Nord Stream 2 files for bankruptcy
The Swiss-based company behind the 75 billion kroner Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has filed for bankruptcy and fired all of its employees following western sanctions, according to Swiss radio broadcaster SRF.
Nord Stream 2 AG, which is owned by the Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom, is looking to settle its bankruptcy claims ahead of a US sanction deadline that will bar other entities from dealing with it.
“Following the recent geopolitical developments leading to the imposition of US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG, the company had to terminate contracts with employees. We very much regret this development,” explained a spokesperson to Reuters.
Gazprom’s European partners in the Nord Stream 2 project included Uniper, Shell, Wintershall Dea, Engie and OMV.
A build-up of international pressure
Last week, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suspended the certification of the 1,230 km natural gas pipeline in response to Russia’s escalating invasion of Ukraine after mounting pressure from EU neighbours and the US.
Washington DC has been arguing for years that constructing another gas pipeline between Germany and Russia – especially one that bypasses Ukraine – will increase Europe’s reliance on Russian energy supplies.
Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for the pipeline to be suspended “immediately”.