Construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was completed in SeptemberImage: Axel Schmidt/Nord Stream 2
Russia insists Nord Stream 2 remains on track
December 29, 2021
"Today, filling the second pipe of Nord Stream 2 with gas should be completed," President Putin said. The Kremlin also said it's not seeking alternatives, despite escalating tensions with the West.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced another milestone on the path to getting Nord Stream 2 up and running, on the same day the Kremlin maintained that the project remains on track.
"Today the procedure of filling the second pipe of Nord Stream 2 with gas should be completed. The first string was filled in October," Putin said.
"This new route will certainly serve to stabilize prices on the European market," he added.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said the filling of the pipeline's second vessel was completed early on Wednesday afternoon. "The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is ready for operation," he confirmed.
'Impossible to disrupt' says deputy PM
Earlier on Wednesday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak was adamant that the Nord Stream 2 project remained on track despite suggestions the gas pipeline does not comply with European law.
Novak rejected the comments made by Yuriy Vitrenko, the head of Ukraine's state energy company Naftogaz, who said he believed Nord Stream 2 would not get the necessary certification.
"It is impossible to disrupt this project," Novak told Russian news outlet RBK. "It was built in accordance with all legal requirements."
When pressed on whether Russia had a "plan B" should Nord Stream 2 not be certified, Novak added: "We don't consider such options and we believe it will be launched in line with the timings, set for certification."
Nord Stream 2 pipeline still without permit
Pipeline finished, but still on hold
Construction on the pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany on the bed of the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine, was completed in September. The project, however, is dormant while awaiting regulatory approval from both Berlin and Brussels.
The project has become increasingly politicized as tensions grow between Russia and the West, with fears growing over Moscow's intentions near its border with Ukraine.
Naftogaz chief Vitrenko said last month he had reason to believe Nord Stream 2 did not comply with European law, thus rendering it impossible to come online.