The Washington Post

Disputed Nord Stream pipeline completed

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Gazprom said Friday that it had finished constructi­on of the Nord Stream 2 subsea pipeline to Germany, which could allow Russia to double lucrative gas exports to Europe via the Baltic Sea while bypassing and cutting off a source of income for political foe Ukraine.

Although German regulators have yet to clear gas flows, completion of the constructi­on means Russia has boosted its energy exporting capabiliti­es toward Europe both from the north in the Baltic Sea and from the south in the Black Sea, where it operates the Turkstream pipeline.

Gazprom started constructi­on of the 750-mile Nord Stream 2 pipeline five years ago. Progress on the $11 billion project stalled at the end of 2019 when President Donald Trump imposed sanctions. Constructi­on restarted about a year later with the engagement of Russia’s own vessels.

The route, along with the existing Nord Stream pipeline, will double export capacity to 110 billion cubic meters per year, about half of Russia’s total annual gas exports to Europe.

The project has drawn criticism from the United States and Ukraine, among others. Washington says it will increase Europe’s reliance on Russian energy supplies.

The United States is seeking to boost sales of seaborne liquefied natural gas to Europe and has touted its super-chilled gas exports as “molecules of freedom.”

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