Pipe number 200,858, the last one, has been welded to the rest of the pipeline, the technicians pose next to it for a souvenir photo. Now all that remains is to connect it to the section coming from Danish territorial waters and place it on the bottom of the Baltic Sea, in German waters.
And then, informs the operating company, the project will be completed and Nord Stream 2 – the second branch of the pipeline that connects Russia and Germany – will go into operation. Within the end of the year. «It will satisfy the medium and long term needs of the European energy market – communicates Nord Stream 2 AG -: guaranteeing reliable and safe supplies at reasonable economic conditions».
The construction of Nord Stream 2 was halted in December 2019, when the threat of American international sanctions convinced the Swiss company Allseas to withdraw from the project. Leaving the Russians alone, with the Fortuna and Akademik Cerskij pipelayers: work resumed last December.
In addition to Russia and Germany, the two branches of Nord Stream cross territorial waters and exclusive economic zones of Denmark, Sweden and Finland, for 1,230 km. Together they will be able to transport 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year: too much, the United States are convinced that until the end they tried to stop Nord Stream, which brings Europe’s energy dependence on Russia to an unacceptable level.
The concerns of Kiev
But since this is a project (worth 11 billion dollars) dear to Germany, as well as to Gazprom, the Biden administration finally reluctantly gave a green light that does not exempt Russian actors from sanctions but spares the operating company and its managing director, the German Matthias Warnig. It is foreseeable that the disputes will not simplify the certification work and the bureaucratic approvals now: in the meantime, both Angela Merkel and Joe Biden have tried to cushion the blow for Ukraine, convinced that Nord Stream 2 will permanently exclude it from the Russian gas routes. directed to Europe.