Nord Stream 2 can be completed in several months without foreign contractors
Moscow. Nord Stream 2 pipeline can be completed even without the participation of foreign contractors and their pipe layers. Within several months, the corresponding organizational work will be carried out in Russia, Minister of Energy Alexander Novak said on Thursday.
"If Allseas is unable to complete the project within the framework of the US Treasury’s explanations, we will have the opportunity to complete it using our own funds. It will be necessary to carry out several additional arrangements for this, and I think that this work will be finished within several months," he said.
Sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream gas pipelines, included in the military budget for the 2020 fiscal year (began on October 1) signed by US President Donald Trump, came into force on December 20.
According to Novak, this decision postpones implementation of the project for several months, while the minister is confident that Nord Stream 2 will be definitely completed in 2020. "This project will be in the works several months longer than was originally planned. I think that in 2020 the pipeline will definitely be put into operation," he stated.
According to the minister, less than 160 km are left to be built, because the bulk of the work has already been complete, with the project being 94% ready in terms of laying the underwater part.
"And I’m sure that no matter what the contractor company Allseas decides, we have every opportunity to finish this project," Novak noted.
Switzerland-based Allseas, pipe-laying company for Nord Stream 2 reported earlier suspension of pipelay activities until regulatory, technical and environmental clarifications come from the relevant US authority.
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that US sanctions against Nord Stream 2 violate international law and present a perfect example of unfair competition.
The United States Senate approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) specifying the annual budget and expenditures of the US Department of Defense for 2020 fiscal year (started on October 1), which obliges the administration to impose sanctions on the Russian Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipelines. Earlier, on December 11, the House of Representatives voted for the document.
The Nord Stream 2 project includes construction of two lines with a total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters of gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. Gazprom’s European partners in the project are German Uniper and Wintershall, Austrian OMV, French Engie and Anglo-Dutch Shell. The pipeline bypasses transit states — Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, and other East European and Baltic countries — through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany.