Novak: Nord Stream 2 to Be Finished Despite U.S. Pressure

Russia and its European partners will finish the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline despite “unprecedented” resistance from the United States, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an article in the Energy Policy magazine published on Monday, according to TASS.

“The decision on its construction was taken jointly with European consumers in 2012. Five foreign companies – Engie, OMV, Shell, Uniper and Wintershall – participate in the project. That is why it is acknowledged that we all are jointly responsible for its implementation as soon as possible, and we feel the strong support of European partners,” he said.

“The gas pipeline will enable the Russian Federation to optimize gas supplies, while the northern and central European countries – to enhance energy security through receiving fuel directly from Russia, which guarantees stability, quite a competitive price and the minimum number of intermediaries,” Novak said.

“Despite the unprecedented resistance from a number of countries, primarily the US, the construction of the gas pipeline will be finalized,” the minister noted.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is set to run from the Russian coast along the Baltic Sea bed to the German shore through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of five countries – Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, thus bypassing transit countries of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, and other Eastern European and Baltic states.

Each of the pipeline’s two stretches will have a capacity of 27.5 bln cubic meters. Gazprom‘s European partners in the project are Germany’s Wintershall and Uniper, Austria’s OMV, France’s Engie and Royal Dutch Shell.

In December, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the country’s military budget for the 2020 fiscal year at the end of 2019, which includes a provision on the need to impose sanctions against Russia’s Nord Stream 2, particularly against companies that agreed to participate in the project.

Switzerland-based company Allseas, which laid pipes for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, suspended its activities and withdrew vessels involved in the project due to the threat of U.S. sanctions.

Novak said at the end of last year that the construction of the gas pipeline might be finalized using the ship-laying vessel ‘Akademik Chersky’, adding that those additional preparations were required for the work in the Baltic Sea. The ministry projects that the gas pipeline might be launched by the end of 2020.

As of today, over 2,300 kilometers of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline have been laid (out of approximately 2,460 kilometers), which amounts to 93%, Gazprom says.

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