Russia defies any criticism of Nord Stream 2 – the project should be finalized this year. Just yesterday, the deputy head of government announced that the tests should start next week.
Russia wants to complete the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline by the end of this year, despite resistance from the USA and German environmentalists. Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Nowak said on Thursday on the sidelines of the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg that work on the Russian-German gas pipeline would continue. “The operating company and the companies involved are continuing with the implementation,” said Nowak. “We hope the work will be finished – maybe by the end of this year.” Previously, individual Russian politicians had considered completion in the summer to be possible.
The line with two strands in one length has a total of 2,460 kilometers of pipes, of which around 100 kilometers are currently still missing, said Nowak. Russia had recently welcomed that the USA wanted to forego severe sanctions against the operating company Nord Stream 2 AG. However, the Russian leadership does not see an end to the interference from the USA because of the ongoing talks between Berlin and Washington on the billion-dollar project.
What is Nord Stream 2 all about? The Baltic Sea pipeline is to pump 55 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia to Germany in the future. 26 million households in Europe are to be supplied with it. The mammoth project started in September 2018 and costs around eight billion euros. Around 100 kilometers are still missing to complete the 1,224-kilometer pipeline. There is constant discussion as to whether the gas will make Germany too dependent on Russia and its supplies. Political crises such as the Ukraine conflict or the poisoning of the Kremlin critic Alexej Navalny fuel the debate about Nord Stream 2.
No danger from the latest lawsuit by Deutsche Umwelthilfe
The Kremlin official Sergei Ivanov complained at the forum in the Baltic metropolis of St. Petersburg that the US continued to apply pressure on the European energy project with a “rough political approach” – for its own economic interests. The presidential administration employee responsible for environmental issues emphasized that Russian gas extraction is significantly cleaner than the gas produced in the USA using the controversial fracking method, which is then liquefied.
At the same time, Ivanov said that he did not see any danger for Nord Stream 2 from the latest lawsuit by Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH). “That doesn’t matter,” he said. The gas pipeline is safe for the environment. “Of course there is no danger. But the opponents will say there is danger.” For reasons of climate protection, the DUH has applied for the building and operating permit to be withdrawn. A test run is due to begin on the Russian section of Nord Stream 2 in the coming week, as the governor of the Leningrad region, Alexander Drosdenko, said at the economic forum.