The controversial undersea gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 is ready for use and Russian President Putin has once again stressed that the fully stocked pipeline helps to reduce pressure on the European gas market.
Putin spoke about Nord Stream 2 at a government meeting. At that meeting, the head of the Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom was also present. Putin stated that the gas can be delivered quickly and that the commissioning of the pipeline quickly leads to lower gas prices.
The construction of the pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, was already completed in September. There is currently awaiting approval from Germany and the European Union for commissioning.
11 billion dollars
The construction of the line cost a total of almost 10 billion euros. In addition to Gazprom, German Uniper and BASF, French Engie and British-Dutch Shell are also involved.
The Bundesnetzagentur, the German regulator of the energy market, announced last month that the companies involved in Nord Stream 2 should be organized under German law.
Until then, the pipeline will not receive approval from the German authorities. As a result, the chance of a quick commissioning seems to be temporarily lost. At the earliest, that is only in the course of next year.
High-rise political conflict
For years, the Nord Stream 2 has been the subject of a high-rise political conflict between Russia, the US and Europe. Washington states that Europe is becoming too dependent on Russian gas and thus threatens to become a victim of energy blackmail. Russia could put political pressure on vulnerable Eastern European countries, such as Ukraine.
Earlier this month, the German Foreign Minister threatened that the pipe will not be put into use if Russia escalates tensions with Ukraine. In response, the gas price went up by 10 percent.