Nord Stream 2 is complete: Gazprom
Construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is now fully complete, its operator Gazprom announced in a terse statement on September 10.
The Gazprom-owned Nord Stream 2 operating company reported on September 6 that the last of the project's pipes had been welded into place. The pipeline is on track to start flowing gas before the end of the year, according to Gazprom, although the exact timing is uncertain.
At a briefing on September 8, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the timing would depend on the decision of German regulators, which will need to certify the Nord Stream 2 company as an independent operator.
"It is now clear to everyone, including opponents of Nord Stream 2 that desperately opposed its construction, that it is simply impossible to stop it and it is time to stop hampering this important project," Zakharova said, according to Tass. "The time has come to agree on responsible, mutually beneficial parameters for the operation of the gas pipeline."
The spokeswoman estimated that gas transport via Nord Stream 2 had a carbon footprint five times smaller than that of alternative routes for Russian supplies to Europe. She also reiterated that Moscow viewed the project only in economic terms.
"Nord Stream 2 is a purely economic project, and Russia has no plans to use it for any other purpose," she said. "We sincerely hope that Nord Stream 2 will cease to be the subject of all sorts of political speculations, bogus stories, information campaigns and a pretext for illegal restrictive measures, and will vanish from such a confrontational agenda altogether."
Russia is prepared to continue gas transit via Ukraine, she said, depending on how much Russian gas Europe needs in the future and the transit terms available compared with other routes.