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Putin says Nord Stream 2 link ready to calm gas prices By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project is seen on a pipe at the Chelyabinsk Pipe Rolling Plant in Chelyabinsk, Russia February 26, 2020. REUTERS / Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the Nord Stream 2 submarine pipeline would help calm a spike in European gas prices and was ready to start exports now that a second section of the pipeline has been filled .

Nord Stream 2, completed in September but awaiting regulatory approval from Germany and the European Union, faces resistance from the United States and several countries, including Poland and Ukraine, who say that it will increase the influence of Russia on Europe.

The pipeline was due to be completed in 2019, but construction was put on hold following the threat of sanctions from the US administration of Donald Trump and the subsequent withdrawal of the Swiss-Dutch company Allseas from the pipeline.

Russia had to supplement it with its own fleet.

Putin said on Wednesday that the second section of the twin pipeline was filled with gas.

“I would like to congratulate Gazprom (MCX 🙂 and your Nord Stream 2 partners on the completion of the works and the creation of this additional large main road and for the fact that it is ready for operation,” Putin said at the meeting. ‘a government meeting, which he attended. by Gazprom chief Alexei Miller.

The $ 11 billion gas pipeline was built by the Kremlin-controlled gas giant Gazprom and half the cost was paid by European energy companies, namely the German Uniper and Wintershall Dea of ​​BASF, the international oil major Shell (LON :), the Austrian OMV and the French Engie.


Certification of the link along the Baltic Sea bed from Russia to Germany is not expected until the end of the first half of 2022.

Europe has seen prices reach record highs as the economic recovery and strong energy demand strained supplies.

Some politicians and pundits have criticized Russia for restricting its gas exports as the wait continues for regulatory approval and a wider standoff with the West looms over Ukraine, which fears Moscow may launches a military invasion. Russia has denied its intention to attack Ukraine.

Putin said the launch of Nord Stream will reduce gas prices in Europe as well as Ukraine by increasing gas supplies.

“This, of course, will have an immediate impact on prices in the market, on the spot. And all countries, consumers of countries that consume Russian gas, of course, will feel it themselves,” Putin said.

The upward pressure on gas prices in Europe has increased following the reversal of flow in the Yamal – Europe pipeline, another major route for Russian gas to Europe, east to south. Beginning of the month.

The gas passed from Germany to Poland via the pipeline on Wednesday for the ninth day in a row, according to data from German network operator Gascade.

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