THE SUPPLIES OF RUSSIAN GAS TO EUROPE VIA NORD STREAM 2 WILL BEGIN THIS YEAR – ENERGY MINISTRY
ENERGY: Emerging reports from Moscow indicate that gas supplies through the embattled multi-billion dollar project – the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is expected to begin by the end of this year, Minister for Energy ‘Nikolai Shulginov’ told reporters on Thursday while briefing the press during the first day of Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum (EEF). However, this comes as Russian gas via Nord Stream 2 has become an issue of obvious concern for the West and Ukraine as the project edges close to completion.
“I think that gas pumping via Nord Stream 2 will start this year”, Nikolai said. Based on this, it was also noted that the Minister was actually echoing based on earlier statements by the pipeline’s sole stakeholder – Gazprom, which expects 5.6 billion cubic meters of the subject gas to be delivered via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline by year’s end.
Shulginov also made it clear during an interview with Rossiya-24 channel at the EEF that “demand is high in Europe, as gas storage facilities are not fully filled, so this demand will continue in the near future”.
The subject pipeline which is 99% complete according to July reports, claimed that the 1,200 kilometer-long pipeline is currently left with 15 kilometers that are needed to be constructed. However, the subject pipeline which consists of two flows is designed to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian gas per year through the Baltic Sea to Europe. Although, the first section of the pipeline was completed in June and is due for testing but not until the second is finished as it appears.
Nonetheless, it’s understood that the subject project has suffered repeated setbacks due to sanctions. The embattled project was suspended in December 2019 after Swiss pipe-laying vessel Allseas abandoned the project due to possible U.S. sanctions. Washington has repeated attempts to hinder the pipeline constructions process with series of sanctions, having tagged the project Russia’s geopolitical “weapon” while siding with ally Ukraine, which practically believes Nord Stream 2 will deprive Kyiv of transit fees. Although, from Russia’s point of view, it has repeatedly called the accusations groundless, stressing that the core reason for the new pipeline is to ensure Europe’s energy security.
“You know that the project is close to completion. We hope that it will be launched and will play a very important role in ensuring the energy security of Europe. Russian presidential spokesman ‘Dmitry Peskov’ said on the sidelines during EEF forum, adding that
This is an exclusively commercial project that cannot pose any threat to anyone. We firmly disagree with the joint US-Ukraine position that this project allegedly poses a threat to Ukraine and to Europe as a whole”.
While the agitation continues, the three-day economic forum which is meant to last through September 4 is understood to be underway in Russia’s east-coast city of Vladivostok.
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