The embattled multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline project is finally coming to fruition as vessel welds the last piece the operator said on Monday, this implies that the two long stretches of the pipe are now ready to be joined to complete the Baltic subsea link aimed at smooth gas transit directly from Russia to Germany at a double capacity. However, it comes as Kyiv continues to oppose the subject project which Ukrainian President ‘Volodymyr Zelenskyy’ sees as a “dangerous geopolitical weapon”.
It is worth knowing that the construction of the natural gas piping actually took a major step to completion. The company confirmed on Monday that the engineers have done a great job by welding together the final piece of piping. In view of this, gas supply to Germany will likely begin in October.
The $12 billion pipeline project has been viewed as one that could allow Russia to forego piping gas to Europe via Ukraine, hence, if it eventually becomes operational as planned Kyiv could be denied transit fee. Zelenskyy has made it clear, having aired his opinion that the project – Nord Stream 2 is really far from dangerous, saying that
“We view this project exclusively through the prism of security and consider it a dangerous geopolitical weapon of the Kremlin”.
And as Russian energy giant – Gazprom including other active entities continues to double down in this trajectory despite concerns, it should be known that Kyiv isn’t alone in this fight. U.S had previously struck with series of sanctions, one of which led to Swiss Allseas abandoning the project due to a potential U.S. sanction in 2019, while the Biden administration had equally moved to impose sanctions when the pipeline project was already 99% complete but was put to bed.
It’s worth noting that as the vessel welds the last piece, it’s important to point out that Kyiv’s anticipated fears over transit fee denial look far from diminishing.
Earlier, Gazprom confirmed that the Russian pipe-laying vessel Fortuna welded the last of the double pipeline onto a stretch of the pipeline in German waters, adding that this would now need to be welded to a long section in Danish waters to complete the project.
“As the next step, the section of the pipe coming from the German shore will be connected to the section coming from the Danish waters in a so-called above water tie-in,” Gazprom said. The company also announced via its messaging app Telegram that
“Pipe-laying work on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been completed”, as the company aims to have the pipeline in operation by year-end.
In another development, Interfax news agency per Reuters reported on Monday that the Russian Foreign Minister ‘Sergei Lavrov’ said that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is expected to start operating in the next few days.
Although, a lot of work needs to be done before the pipeline becomes operational, and more significantly is the certification and approval for use. Certification is expected to take up to four months but will only start once the conditions regarding all paperwork are complete, which will entail the checks of Gazprom and the German economics ministry.
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