Germany has taken steps against Russia’s certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced Tuesday. This comes as the West began taking punitive actions against Moscow in response to the Ukraine crisis.

This decision was criticised by Moscow and is significant for the German government.

Scholz stated that his government took the decision to recognize the independence of two regions in eastern Ukraine , which he called a serious breach of international law.

“Now it’s up the international community to respond to this unilateral, incomprehensible, and unjustified action of the Russian president,” he said to reporters in Berlin. He added that it was important to “send a clear message to Moscow that such actions will not remain without consequences.”

Berlin has resisted the pullout of the project for years, despite pressure from the United States, and other European countries. Washington has argued for years that the construction of another pipeline to bring natural gas from Russia into Germany, especially one that bypasses Ukraine, increases Europe’s dependence on Russian energy sources.

Officials from the United States have warned that Nord Stream 2 could pose risks for Ukraine and Poland, as it could allow Russia stop pumping gas through these countries.

Angela Merkel, Scholz’s predecessor had supported the project . prominent figures from Scholz’s center-left Social Democratic Party have also defended it.

Scholz stated Tuesday that “the situation now is fundamentally changed.” He explained that Scholz had said Tuesday that Scholz had explained that Scholz had withdrawn a report that examined the effects that the pipeline, which has not yet started operating, would have on Germany’s gas supply security.

He said, “That may sound technical but it’s an essential administrative step without the certification of the pipeline.”

Scholz stated that Germany’s Economy Ministry would review the situation in light the most recent developments.

He added, “That will definitely take time.

Nord Stream 2’s operator declined to comment immediately. Jen Psaki, a White House spokesperson, stated on Twitter that the U.S. administration had closely discussed Germany over the night and was happy to announce the news.

She stated on Twitter, “We will be following-up with our own measures today.”

Germany currently meets 25% of its energy requirements with natural gas. This share will rise as Germany shuts down its three last nuclear power plants and phase out coal use. Russia accounts for about half of Germany’s natural gas consumption.

The government plans to eliminate all fossil fuels from Germany by 2045.

Dmytro Kuleba, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, praised Germany’s suspension of certification for the pipeline.

He wrote that “This is a morally and politically correct step in the current conditions,” on Twitter. “True leadership requires tough decisions in difficult situations. Germany’s actions prove that.

Dmitry Medvedev (Russia’s ex-president) criticized the German government for denying certification to the pipeline.

Medvedev, now the deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council, said: “Welcome into the brave new world in which Europeans will very soon be going to pay 2,000 Euros for 1.000 cubic metres of natural gas!”