The last pipes have been laid. Three and a half years after the start of work, the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been completed, Russian giant Gazprom announced on Friday (September 10th). However, given the resistance it arouses, no one knows when and under what conditions this 1,200-kilometer pipeline connecting Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea will come into service.
In Moscow, the announcement was made without triumphalism. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to mention any ” Victoire “. The Russian media picked up the news with unusual sobriety.
It is first of all a question of sticking to the official line which wants that Nord Stream 2 – which must transport 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year – is only a simple economic project, and in no case a geopolitical weapon. Above all, the Russian success is so obvious that it requires no emphasis. Faced with the multiple impediments that threatened the very existence of the project, Moscow has always displayed unwavering determination and optimism.
Threats to Ukraine
Unsurprisingly, Ukraine, which has always considered that Nord Stream 2 represents a danger for it “Extremely serious”, reacted immediately, in a mixture of bitterness and anger. The former Soviet Republic, at war in the Donbass against pro-Russian separatists backed by Moscow, said it would “To fight against this Russian political project until its completion and after it, and even after the start of gas deliveries”.
For Kiev, the threat is not only economic – this would deprive the country of approximately $ 2 billion in annual revenue linked to transit rights – but also security: according to the authorities, Russia will no longer have any obstacles to launch a offensive since it will no longer have to worry about the gas infrastructure installed in Ukraine in order to supply its main European customers. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky again warned on Friday against the risk of such “Powerful escalation on the part of Russia”.
In Germany, the announcement of the end of work comes two weeks before parliamentary elections, the results of which will weigh on the future of the project. In particular those of the Greens, who are opposed to Nord Stream 2 for environmental and strategic reasons. “The work is done, but the certification stage has only just begun. The elections may decide to put Gazprom in front of some additional legal complications ”, German green MEP Reinhard Bütikofer warned on Twitter.
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