Emerging reports from Russia indicate Europe’s energy crisis could see new dawn based on the latest development. However, this comes as the operator of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline designed to carry 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia to Germany made clear on Monday that it had begun filling the subject pipeline with natural gas. Yet, a pipeline project was criticized and viewed by some Western countries as a geopolitical weapon.
This comes as Europe’s energy crisis deepens with natural gas reserves reportedly at a low level leading to a surge in energy price.
“The gas-in procedure for the first time string of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has started”, Nord Stream 2 AG stated.
“This string will be gradually filled to build the required inventory and pressure as a prerequisite for the later technical tests” AG added.
In view of this, the Switzerland-based company and a subsidiary of Russian Gazprom said it will publish more information about “further technical steps in due time”.
Meanwhile, the just-completed pipeline project has for years divided Europe’s capitals, and in turn, raised tension between Washington and the bloc. While on the other hand, sanctions equally delayed the project, which in one case saw Swiss Allseas abandon the project due to potential U.S. sanctions.
The pipeline which diverts piping from the traditional route via Ukraine is expected to deprive Kyiv and Europe’s ally of an estimated 1 billion euros annually in gas transit fees from Russia. And why the United States prepares for further sanction should Russia uses the subject pipeline as a weapon. Although, Ukraine has continued to warn Europe that the pipeline could be used by Moscow to exert pressure.
Elsewhere, the U.S. State Department equally made clear on Monday via a spokesman ‘Ned Price’ that “We continue to oppose this pipeline”. Adding that
“We continue to believe it is a geopolitical project of the Russian Federation and we will continue to apply the law consistent with our periodic reviews which, of course, remain ongoing”.
On the other hand, Berlin believes the pipeline will play a significant role in the country’s transition away from coal and nuclear energy which before now imports around 40% of its gas from Russia.
Moreover, it was noted that the gas prices in Europe at about the same time were skyrocketing in anticipation of higher winter demand, as such, the International Energy Agency urged Russia to open the taps. But Moscow seems adamant, having said that it’s waiting for the just-completed NS2 to come online before delivering more gas while adding that the subject pipeline would help combat surging gas prices in Europe.
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