Russian Pipe-Laying Vessel Enters Danish Waters to Complete Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

Russian-flagged pipelayer Fortuna has departed from the German port of Mukran and entered Danish waters, shortly after Copenhagen expanded the list of ships allowed to participate in construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Russia Today reported.

Data from vessel tracking websites showed that Fortuna was sailing in Danish waters in the Baltic Sea on Wednesday. According to Myshiptracking, the vessel set sail from Mukran, where pipes for the Nord Stream 2 are stored, and is set to return to the port in October.

Fortuna is one of the few ships that can help complete the multibillion-dollar project to deliver Russian gas to European consumers. Its participation became possible after the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) greenlighted the use of ships with anchor positioning, which had been banned from the works under previous rules. However, pipelaying cannot resume before August 3, as local environmental bodies could still appeal the regulator’s ruling.

Before the recent approval, only one Russian ship fit all the necessary technical requirements to finish the last stretch of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline: the Akademik Cherskiy, which has made the long journey from Russia’s Far East and is also moored in Mukran.

Russia had to look for ways to finish the massive energy project on its own at the end of last year, after Swiss-Dutch pipelaying firm Allseas withdrew its vessels over the threat of US sanctions. While the latest attempt by Washington to prevent the completion of Nord Stream 2 failed, the Trump administration is now considering new ways to stop the project and impose new sanctions on companies linked to it.

Germany has repeatedly decried US attempts to thwart the project. Berlin said it had “noted with regret” US plans to expand sanctions on the underwater pipeline, saying that the move would “constitute a serious interference in European energy security and EU sovereignty.”

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