The Swiss-primarily based corporation behind the Nord Stream 2 pipeline denied on Wednesday that it filed for bankruptcy but verified it terminated staff contracts.

Why it matters: Extensive seen as a Kremlin impact job that would boost Europe’s power dependence on Russia, Nord Stream 2 was just one of the initial targets of the flurry of Western sanctions induced by Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

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  • A nearby formal explained to Swiss radio broadcaster SRF on Tuesday that the firm experienced submitted for bankruptcy and fired all 106 of its staff.

  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the certification of the $11 billion organic fuel pipeline would be suspended final Tuesday, a working day soon after Putin requested Russian troops into eastern Ukraine for a “peacekeeping” mission. The pipeline is totally manufactured, but fuel experienced not but started flowing.

  • The U.S. followed up by rescinding sanctions waivers on Nord Stream 2 AG and its corporate officers, dealing what was most likely the death blow to a venture that experienced caused big problems for President Biden and the trans-Atlantic alliance.

What they’re indicating: “We can not verify the media stories that Nord Stream 2 has submitted for individual bankruptcy,” Nord Stream 2 AG — a wholly owned subsidiary of Russia’s Gazprom — claimed in a statement.

  • “The firm only informed the local authorities that the corporation had to terminate contracts with staff members next the current geopolitical developments primary to the imposition of US sanctions on the corporation,” it included.

The firm instructed Reuters on Tuesday that it “experienced to terminate contracts with staff members. We very substantially regret this growth.”

Concerning the traces: Even as the West and private providers have moved to thoroughly isolate Russia more than its unprovoked assault on Ukraine, previous German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder — the chairman of the board of Nord Stream 2 AG — has yet to cut his beneficial ties with Russian power giants.

Go deeper: Putin’s war could herald a new electricity era

Editor’s notice: This article has been updated with a new assertion from the operator of Nord Stream 2 denying it filed for individual bankruptcy.

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