Yesterday, a Solitaire vessel began to lay the first deep-water pipes in the Gulf of Finland within the framework of the Nord Stream 2 project, which means that the new gas pipeline from Russia to Germany can no longer be stopped, Forbes said.
Until now, construction of the gas pipeline has been confined to onshore sections and territorial waters near the Russian city of St. Petersburg and the German Greifswald, the article writer, American journalist Dave Keating, notes. Solitaire will conduct pipe laying around the clock seven days a week, involving over four hundred workers in the construction activities. The Nord Stream 2 operator intends to complete the pipeline construction by the end of 2019.
Such rapid construction pace is surprising since all these works are carried out amid the unfavorable political conditions. So, in Germany, an increasing number of politicians speaks out against the project implementation. Critics of Nord Stream 2, first and foremost the governments of most Eastern European countries, argue that the pipeline jeopardizes the energy security of the European Union, making it more dependent on Russian gas.
So, given the active political opposition to the gas pipeline construction, why is the Nord Stream 2 operator so confident that the project will continue, and keeps on investing millions in the launch of building activities?
In truth, Keating stresses, there are not many legitimate methods to block the Nord Stream 2. The Russian energy giant Gazprom says the project does not need permission from the EU, except for those countries through which territory the pipeline will pass — Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. Three of them have already issued appropriate permits.
At the same time, Moscow does not see any serious obstacle to the construction of a new gas pipeline to Germany. Of course, everything can change if Chancellor Angela Merkel reshapes her opinion. However, last month, at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Merkel did not make any statements that could lead to such conclusions. Moreover, in the current situation, opposing the Northern Stream 2 is like giving way to pressure from US President Donald Trump.