Russia confirms goal: Nord Stream 2 should be ready by the end of 2021

Russia reaffirms goal
Nord Stream 2 should be ready by the end of 2021

The resistance to Nord Stream 2 is huge. Nevertheless, the Russian government is not abandoning its plans to complete the gas pipeline as soon as possible. That should happen by the end of the year, announced Deputy Prime Minister Nowak.

According to the Russian government, the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2 should be completely completed by the end of this year. Then the filling of the gas pipeline should also begin, said Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Nowak in a report broadcast on Russian state television. On Friday, Kremlin chief Putin surprisingly announced that the first of two strands had been laid. Work on the second strand should be completed in the next two months, Putin said.

Nowak explained that parts still had to be connected to one another on the first strand; the laying of the pipes for the second strand of the line is ongoing, he said. Russian media pointed out that even after the completion of the first strand of Nord Stream 1, it took another six months for operations – including all permits – to really start.

Russia’s EU ambassador Vladimir Chizhov said on the state TV channel Rossija-1 that Moscow was prepared for further problems for the actual start of operations. The international operating company Nord Stream 2 AG was also registered in Switzerland to make the work easier.

Critics of the pipeline, including some EU countries and the USA, warn of the fact that it is too dependent on Russian gas. In the event that the almost completely built pipeline is completed, they demand that filling be made dependent on Russia’s policy, which has been criticized as increasingly authoritarian on the domestic front and increasingly aggressive on the foreign policy side.

Nord Stream 2 is expected to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. On the Russian part of the line in the Leningrad region, test work is due to begin next week. Russia promises to bypass Ukraine, the most important transit country to date, to deliver the gas directly and more cheaply to the EU in the future. The chronically clammy Ukraine, on the other hand, breaks billions in revenue from the fees of the transit business.