Monday 28 December 2020
Laying ship leaves construction site
Nord Stream 2 completed in front of Rügen?
A year ago, work on Nord Stream 2 largely came to a standstill under pressure from the USA. At the beginning of December, the Russian pipe-laying ship “Fortuna” leaves the port in Wismar and returns to the construction area. Now it’s on its way back.
Russia is apparently making progress with the construction of the controversial Baltic Sea gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 despite the threats of US sanctions. The Russian ship “Fortuna”, which is laying the pipes, has left the construction site between Rügen and the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea and is on its way to the port in Wismar, as shown by position data that is publicly available on the Internet. This indicates that the 2.6 kilometer long section of the project in German waters has been completed. There is no confirmation of this. According to the plan, the “Fortuna” will continue construction in Danish waters in mid-January.
The ship left Wismar earlier this month and started work on the pipeline again. A year ago they had largely come to a standstill under pressure from the USA. The line is around 90 percent ready, a little more than 100 kilometers are still missing.
The pipeline company has not given its opinion. Most recently, Washington said the US government was preparing further sanctions and urging European allies and private companies to stop work on the construction of the pipeline. Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated, however, that the federal government would not give in: “We don’t need to talk about European sovereignty if it means that in the future we will only do everything as Washington wants,” he said in an interview.
Biden is also an opponent
Once completed, the pipeline will pump 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia to Germany every year. The management is a thorn in the side of the USA. The administration of outgoing President Donald Trump, as well as congressmen from both parties, complain that Europeans are becoming dependent on Russian natural gas. President-elect Joe Biden has also criticized the project in the past. They are supported by Eastern European countries such as Poland and the Baltic countries. Critics accuse the US, however, of acting solely out of economic interests: They too want to sell natural gas to Europe.
Nord Stream 2 is the second Baltic Sea pipeline between Russia and Germany. The Russian state-owned company Gazprom is behind the project and is expected to cover half of the planned total costs. The other half is financed by the European energy companies Wintershall Dea, OMV, Uniper, Royal Dutch Shell and Engie.