Russia may complete construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline already in summer, said Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Energy Pavel Zavalny. The pipeline aims to boost gas supplies to Germany and other European states.
Zavalny added that the pipeline’s construction is speeding up, as Russia’s Akademik Cherskiy pipelaying vessel has joined the effort. “Hopefully, the second string, as well as the first string, will be laid no later than June, if foreign military ships do not interfere. We have already witnessed such precedents,” he said.
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Last month, Gazprom Chairman Viktor Zubkov said that despite a series of delays caused by US sanctions, construction of the gas pipeline will be ‘unequivocally’ completed before the end of the year.
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was designed to boost Russian gas supplies to Germany and other European countries by 55 billion cubic meters per year. It will connect Germany directly to Russia via the Baltic Sea. The pipeline is aimed at protecting Berlin’s energy security and also lowering the price by making the process less reliant on third countries transiting gas.
The US has been relentlessly seeking to block the completion of the pipeline, while imposing numerous packages of sanctions against companies involved in its construction, maintenance, insurance and certification, leading some to pull out altogether. Russia thus had to dispatch its own vessels to lay the final kilometers of the route.
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Washington has repeatedly urged Europe to buy more US liquefied natural gas instead, claiming that the project will “undermine Europe’s overall energy security and stability.”
However, some have accused the Americans of opposing the pipeline for economic reasons, as the country looks to increase its exports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to the continent.
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This article originally appeared on RT Business News