Nord Stream 2: Germany says construction can continue

Last Updated: Friday, 15 January 2021 (15:40 IST)
Germany’s Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency on Friday said construction on the controversial can restart immediately.

A statement from the agency gave approval for an anchor-position vessel to operate in the area, reversing a decision that work could only begin again in May.
 
However, local media said the restart could still be delayed by legal action from environmental groups as the remaining stretch of the pipeline runs through the edge of a conservation area for birds.
 
Almost finished
 
Construction of the pipeline, which is reported to be more than 90% complete, was suspended last year after the United States imposed sanctions, a decision criticized by both and the European Union.
 
The US said the pipeline would threaten the EU’s security by increasing the bloc’s dependence on Russia, while Berlin has insisted it will create a direct and secure energy supply.
 
Work on the Danish island of Bornholm, where two Swiss laying vessels were operating, stopped as a result of the threat of penalties.
 
The Russian-led company behind the project later insisted it would continue the project alone, and on Friday, its Fortuna pipe-laying vessel arrived in the Baltic Sea off Rostock.
 
Danish authorities said Friday they were due to carry out preparatory work and tests with the help of the ship.
 
Sanctions widened
 
Earlier this month, US lawmakers agreed to extend sanctions on Nord Stream 2, just as Moscow vowed to restart construction.
 
The Gazprom-led consortium behind Nord Stream 2 says 2,300 kilometers of the double pipeline are now complete. A further 150 kilometers must be finished, most of which are in Danish waters.