A senior German SPD official calls for an end to the Nord Stream 2 conflict

BERLIN, Jan 10 (Reuters) – A senior official in the party that leads Germany’s coalition government called on Monday for an end to the political dispute over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to transport Russian gas to the country.

The gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea is a project backed by the Social Democratic Party (SPD), but opposed by one of its lesser coalition partners, the Greens party.

“We have to put (the dispute) behind us at some point,” said Kevin Kuehnert, SPD secretary general, at a press conference following a meeting of an SPD leadership body.

The pipeline was completed in September, but is pending authorization from German and European Union regulators, and some politicians – in Germany and abroad – have said it should be blocked due to various disagreements with Russia.

Kuehnert said that the debate on possible sanctions against Russia if the Ukraine conflict escalates in the wake of a Russian military reinforcement near the border with Ukraine is a different matter than the Nord Stream 2 project.

“Everything in me resists the idea of ​​conflict just to bury a controversial project,” said Kuehnert, who noted in an interview on Sunday with Reuters that Nord Stream 2 had been planned for a long time, and that it was now the time to achieve “political and legal peace” on the issue.

The position of the SPD mirrors that of the Christian Democrats of former Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel declared the pipeline a commercial project, an expression echoed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, a member of the SPD. (Reporting by Andreas Rinke; writing by Zuzanna Szymanska, translation by Flora Gómez. Editing by Javier Leira)


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