The operator of the Nord Stream 2 project has announced that 1,000km of the gas pipeline now stretches across the Baltic seafloor through Finnish, Swedish and German waters.
The new milestone was reached as some 20 vessels are currently engaged in the project, with nearly 1,300 people working on board the pipelay, pipe supply and survey vessels, Nord Stream 2 said on Thursday. The gas pipeline is now being installed in the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone by two Allseas pipelay vessels, ‘Solitaire,’ and the world’s largest construction vessel, ‘Pioneering Spirit.’
The news about progress with Nord Stream 2 almost coincided with a statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in which he admitted that Washington’s efforts to turn the EU against building the pipeline have been fruitless so far.
“The Germans appear intent on continuing to build that pipeline… We had done just about all we can to discourage the Europeans, primarily Germans, from building Nord Stream 2 and we’ve done that without success today,” Pompeo said at Wednesday’s Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing.
He was responding to a question from Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), who echoed Donald Trump’s previous rhetoric against the project, calling it “Putin’s pipeline” and a “trap” for Germans.
Nord Stream 2 is a 1,230km-long twin pipeline system designed to transfer Russian gas to Germany and further to other European consumers. The project is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2019.
The construction of the pipeline has attracted both support and vocal opposition from the European nations and beyond. Critics, including the US, which wants to sell its own gas exports to the EU, say that the Nord Stream 2 will make Europe dependent on Russian gas and called on Berlin to abandon the project. Germany shrugged off the criticism, stressing that the pipeline would only contribute to the diversity of the gas supply to Europe.
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