The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project could be halted if Russia invades Ukraine, warned European Commission chief Ursula von der Laen, referring to the pipeline, whichѐ it is not yet operational and who should transport gas from Russia to Germany.
“I want to be clear: There is nothing to reject, everything is on the table,” von der Laen told CNN in response to a question about whether Nord Stream 2 should be stopped if Russia invades Ukraine.
“What we are seeing is worrying. We see the accumulation of Russian military forces around Ukraine, the largest since World War II. So, there are very clear signs that Russia is putting enormous pressure on Ukraine and is very clearly threatening military aggression against Ukraine, and that will not be tolerated. “And we are preparing for that,” said the head of the European Commission.
Diplomatic efforts continue to calm tensions caused by the Russian accumulation of almost 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine, the agencies report.
“The European Commission is responsible for designing, shaping and developing sanctions against Russia – financially, economically and technologically,” von der Laen said.
“The EU is Russia’s largest trading partner with approximately 40 percent of trade in goods and Russia’s largest foreign investor with 75 percent of foreign direct investment coming from the Union,” he said.
“These figures tell you that it could be very painful for Russia if aggression against Ukraine escalates,” von der Laen said, adding that he was working in detail with US President Joseph Biden on a strategic energy security partnership.
Asked whether Russia should be excluded from the global payment system SWIFT if it invades Ukraine, von der Laen reiterated that nothing is ruled out. However, she declined to give details of the EU sanctions package.