Russian laying ship »Akademik Tscherski« off Wismar: 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas are to flow through Nord Stream 2 from Russia to Germany every year
Photo: Jens Büttner / dpa
Only a few kilometers are still missing: Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) wants to prevent completion with a lawsuit against the continued construction of the controversial Baltic Sea gas pipeline Nord Stream 2.
The claim at the Hamburg administrative court, the receipt of which was confirmed by a spokesman, is directed against the approval of the construction work by the responsible Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), announced the DUH.
According to the DUH, climate and environmental arguments are being ignored in the construction of the pipeline.
The BSH had previously rejected contradictions from the DUH and the Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU) against a building permit in mid-January.
At that time, the authority allowed Nord Stream 2 to continue construction in German waters.
As a result of the contradictions, the approval had meanwhile been suspended.
A lawsuit in court would now revoke the approval again.
Without this permit, pipes could not be laid in German waters until the end of May.
The project is currently being carried out in Danish waters.
Moratorium under discussion
Nord Stream 2 has been one of the main points of contention in German-American relations for years.
The USA fear that Europe is too dependent on Russian gas and wants to stop the project with sanctions.
Proponents of the pipeline counter the Americans that they are only looking for better sales opportunities for their liquefied gas in Europe.
In the dispute over the pipeline, however, Federal Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has now signaled that the USA will be accommodating.
After a meeting with her US counterpart Lloyd Austin, the CDU politician was open to a moratorium on the construction of the almost completed pipeline.
"You can ask yourself that question," she said.
In the event that the pipeline between Russia and Germany through the Baltic Sea should be completed, Kramp-Karrenbauer spoke out in favor of conditioning the gas transport.
You have to make him "also dependent (...) on the behavior of Russia".
The US government has expressed its opposition to the pipeline project, Austin said: "But we will not allow this issue to stand in the way of the enormous relations we have with Germany."
Nord Stream 2 is expected to transport 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from Russia to Germany.
According to the project company from the beginning of April, 95 percent of the pipeline has already been laid.
The federal government had always pointed out that it was an economic project and suggested that it should intervene.
But now it is coming under increasing pressure, and Eastern European countries such as Poland and the Baltic countries are also rejecting the pipeline.
Foreign ministers Heiko Maas and Antony Blinken had recently agreed at their first meeting in Brussels to remain in talks to find a solution to the conflict.
apr / dpa / AFP