The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, between Russia and Germany, will be completed by the Russians. In this way, American sanctions against European companies that are building the pipeline can be circumvented.
The 1,200-kilometre-long gas pipeline that will connect Russia directly with Germany via the Baltic Sea is already mostly completed.
But the United States is against the gas pipeline. The country is afraid that Russian President Vladimir Putin will gain more influence in Western Europe. Besides, Nord Stream 2 ignores the American ally Ukraine.
At the end of December, President Donald Trump ratified sanctions against companies involved in the construction of the pipeline. The Swiss company Allseas, which would build the last part of Nord Stream 2, suspended the work.
A ship from Gazprom will now take over that job. The ship is currently “modernised”, says the Russian agency Interfax. Putin said earlier this month that the pipeline would be ready by the beginning of 2021 at the latest. With the pipeline, the direct supply of Russian gas to Western Europe could double.
There is a price tag of 9.5 billion euros on the gas pipeline. It is co-financed by five European energy companies, including Engie and Shell.