Russia has finished laying nearly two thirds of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, the deputy chairman of Gazproms management committee has announced.
“The completion of the sea part [of Nord Stream 2] is around 60 percent,” Oleg Aksyutin told the Rossiya 24 channel.
The undersea pipeline, designed to deliver Russian natural gas to Germany and further on to other European customers, is set to be finished by the end of the year. The Gazprom official added that the offshore and land sections of the pipeline were connected on the German side last year and a receiving terminal is currently under construction there. On the Russian end, works are underway to complete the land and sea sections.
Denmarks delayed permission for the pipeline to pass through its territorial waters is considered one of the main hurdles to implementation of the project on schedule. Other countries on the route of the gas pipeline –Russia, Finland, Sweden and Germany– have long-since approved it.
Russian energy giant Gazprom, which leads the project in partnership with European energy majors, dismissed concerns over the awaited approval from Danish authorities. If Copenhagen fails to greenlight the project, the alternative route bypassing Danish waters would be just 34 kilometers longer than the original one. Given the current pipe-laying speed, it would take just seven additional days to build it, according to Aksyutin.
The US has been vocally criticizing Nord Stream 2 from the very beginning, claiming that Russia would use the pipeline to gain political leverage in Europe and warning against participating in the project. While Germany and Austria have repeatedly fended off such allegations, Denmark might have been more sensitive to Washingtons pressure, according to former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
“Nord Stream 2 is a proRead More