The Russia-led Nord Stream 2 consortium said on Dec. 28 it has completed laying pipes for the project in German waters, finishing work on a 2.6 km-long portion of the pipeline, which had been stalled by the threat of U.S. sanctions.
"We have completed this work," the consortium said in an emailed statement, referring to the pipe-laying in the German economic zone.
Earlier on Dec. 28, Refinitiv Eikon data showed the Russian pipe-laying vessel Fortuna has left the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction site in Germany's section of the Baltic Sea.
The Fortuna earlier this month resumed work on the pipeline, which will pump gas directly from Russia to western Europe, bypassing Ukraine. Work had been suspended for a year because of the risks of sanctions from the United States.
The pipeline, which is estimated to cost 9.5 billion euros (US$11.6 billion), will make western Europe more dependent on Russian gas and Washington says it will compromise European energy security.
It has become a flashpoint in relations between Russia and the West, which have sunk to post-Cold War lows. The Kremlin has called the sanctions "unfair competition".
The Fortuna is meant to continue construction of the pipeline in Danish waters next month.
The consortium building the pipeline, led by Russian gas giant Gazprom with Western partners, has still to lay more than 100-km of pipeline, although more than 90% of the project has been completed.
Senior U.S. administration officials said last Wednesday that Washington was urging European allies and private companies to halt work that could help build the pipeline and was preparing wider sanctions on the project in the coming weeks.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Dec. 28 that Russia will have to adjust to possible new U.S. sanctions to complete the project.
The Kremlin has said that new U.S. sanctions targeting Nord Stream 2 could complicate the pipeline's completion, but that Moscow and European nations had an interest in its being built.
Gazprom's western partners in the project, which is estimated to cost 9.5 billion euros (US$11.6 billion) are Germany's Uniper SE, BASF's Wintershall Dea GmbH, Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Austria's OMV AG and Engie SA.
($1 = 0.8190 euros)
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