Friday 4th June 2021
Russian side is ready to go
Putin: First strand of the Nord Stream has been laid
At the economic forum in St. Petersburg, the Russian President announced a stage success on the way to the completion of the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2. The pipes of the first of two strings are ready for use, according to Putin. He also uses the international stage for renewed criticism of the USA.
Russian President Vladimir Putin reports progress on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. Work on the first line has been completed, the pipes have been laid and the Russian gas company Gazprom is ready to fill the pipeline, he said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. On the Russian side, the pipeline is ready to go. Gazprom shares are about to jump. The securities of the Russian energy company cost as much as they did last in mid-2008.
The authorities had previously informed that test operations on the Russian part of the line would begin next week. Russia is ready to continue implementing such international projects as Nord Stream 2, stressed Putin. At the economic meeting, which former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder also attended, the Kremlin chief said that the second strand could be completed in two months. The filling then depends on the permission of the German authorities. Russia plans to finalize the project this year.
Putin denies political calculation
“It is a purely economic and commercial project,” said Putin, referring to political criticism of the Baltic Sea pipeline. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he was optimistic that the gas pipeline would be completed. That is good for Russia because Europe is buying a lot of gas from the country. In Europe, Nord Stream 2 ensures energy security, said the chancellor, who was connected via video.
The Russian President accused the USA of primarily pursuing their own economic interests with their resistance to Nord Stream 2. The USA offers its gas, which is obtained by fracking and then liquefied, as an alternative in the EU. Putin stressed that Russian pipeline gas is “cleaner, cheaper and more reliable” than the US product.
Russia is not responsible for Ukraine
According to Putin, direct transport from Russia to Germany is also cheaper – bypassing Ukraine, the most important transit country to date. When asked whether Ukraine was not losing important income due to the transit fees, he said that Russia was not responsible for “feeding through” the neighbor. Ukraine had repeatedly called for sanctions against the project.
A spokesman for Nord Stream 2 AG confirmed that the laying of the first pipeline line had been completed. “The laid sections of the pipeline must now be connected to each other,” said spokesman Steffen Ebert. The necessary activities would then be carried out prior to commissioning. “The laying work on the other wiring harness will be continued.”