“Today at 1:25 p.m. [Central European time] the Solitaire began work on the installation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Gulf of Finland,” said Nord Stream 2 AG. “Before and after the pipeline is installed, a research vessel will inspect the seabed to verify the exact position of the pipeline.”
The planned construction will continue twenty-four hours a day and without stoppages. Nord Stream 2 is expected to start operating by the end of 2019.
The Finnish transport agency and the border services have been alerted to security measures, while the construction will be carried out under the control of the national authorities.
The Nord Stream 2 project involves linking two gas pipelines from Russia, via the Baltic Sea, to a hub in Germany, bypassing Ukraine. The project is a joint venture between Russia’s energy giant Gazprom, France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, Dutch Royal Dutch Shell and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall.
Gas delivery will pass through the economic zones of Germany, Finland, Russia, Sweden and Denmark. Only Denmark has yet to approve construction. The USA and Ukraine have tried to halt the project, claiming that the pipeline will increase the dependence of European countries on Russian gas.
The US can not prevent the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and “Germany can not leave Nord Stream 2 at the current stage,” the Russian-German Forum’s scientific director, Alexander Rahr, believes.
According to Rahr “Europe needs gas, which can only come from Russia or Norway,” noting that “there are no other sources.”
US President Donald Trump “will not be able to stop Nord Stream 2, because Germany, Austria and a number of other countries, particularly its business communities, will respond with a firm ‘no’,” said the expert on Russia.
Detractors say the pipeline was designed to punish Kiev, enabling Russia to shut down its existing pipeline bringing gas to the EU through Ukraine.
In July, US President Trump warned against the pipeline, accusing Germany of making itself “completely dependent” on Russian gas. He has also threatened to sanction European companies who invest in the pipeline.