Russia completes controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany
Updated 00:44, 11-Sep-2021
Patrick Rhys Atack


Nord Stream 2, the controversial gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, has been completed according to Gazprom, the Russian gas company that built the route. 

Alexey Miller, chairman of the management committee, announced completion at 8:45 a.m. Moscow time on Friday. 

The 1,200km pipeline follows much the same route as the original Nord Stream pipeline under the Baltic Sea. It leaves Russia from Ust-Luva, near St Petersburg, before surfacing in Greifswald, northern Germany. 

The underwater gas line has caused significant controversy, as critics say it could allow Russia to wield power over Europe. It is also predicted to take business away from a gas line that runs through Ukraine to EU nations. 

But Nord Stream 2 will double the amount of gas Germany can import from Russia, with the new system designed to deliver up to 55bn cubic meters of natural gas per year, meaning the full Gazprom access to European gas supplies will be 110bn cubic meters each year.

More than 500bn cubic meters of natural gas is used in Europe each year. 

There is speculation gas will begin running through Nord Stream 2 as soon as October, but the pipeline needs to be cleared by authorities and pass safety checks before anything will flow. German regulators will also need to give a final sign-off. 

Yuriy Vitrenko, CEO of Ukraine's state gas company Naftogaz, has called on EU authorities to delay the certification.

Vitrenko said Naftogaz has lodged "necessary arguments in Berlin and Brussels," relating to the EU's energy rules, which stipulate a split between production, transit and supply. 

The 1,200 km pipeline runs under the Baltic Sea./Nord Stream 2/AFP

The 1,200 km pipeline runs under the Baltic Sea./Nord Stream 2/AFP


Germany's outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel has fought off arguments from the U.S. and others, which warned the second pipeline would give Russia too much of a bargaining chip over Germany and the EU. 

Speaking in Kyiv in August, Merkel sought to reassure Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky that Russia would not be allowed to use gas as a weapon and Germany would back new sanctions on Russia if Nord Stream 2 is leveraged in such a way.

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