Germany expects Nord Stream 2 to be launched in a year

Germany expects Nord Stream 2 to be launched in a year

Germany expects the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will be launched no later than the first quarter 2021, German Ambassador to Russia Geza Andreas von Geyr said.

The diplomat noted that he had discussed this issue with Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee Alexey Miller. "I can say that the project should be completed," TASS cited him as saying.

"Its launch should take place at the end of 2020 or in the first quarter of 2021 at the latest," the ambassador said.

A senior analyst of 'Uralsib', Alexei Kokin, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Berlin does not risk much, waiting for Russia to complete the Nord Stream-2 project on its own, without Europe's help.

"Stopping the construction of Nord Stream-2 is undesirable, but not so critical for Germany, because the existing Russian gas supply routes have not gone away. Naturally, a stop is a negative for companies participating in the consortium implementing the project, but Germany doesn't have problems with getting Russian gas because of this," he explained.

Deputy director of energy policy of the Institute of Energy and Finances, Alexey Belogoriev, in turn, noted that the deadline for completing the project doesn't depend on only Russia. "The fact is that the Akademik Chersky pipe-laying vessel will not be able to participate in the laying of Nord Stream-2 - it was bought for the Sakhalin-3 project," he said.

This means that Gazprom has only the Fortuna barge. "The question is being solved with the Danish authorities: do they agree to the option of technical escorting Fortuna by other vessels that will ensure its dynamic positioning in the open sea. If the Danish authorities agree, then in May or June Fortuna will be able to begin construction, in this case the remaining section will be finoshed by the end of the year," Alexey Belogoryev explained.

In December 2019, sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump entered into force. On December 21, Switzerland-based Allseas, which is laying pipes for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, announced the suspension of its work.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hoped the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline would be completed by the end of 2020.

On January 28, Gazprom’s deputy head Elena Burmistrova, speaking at the European Gas Conference in Vienna, said that the Nord Stream 2 project will be finished by the Russian side.