Russia: US efforts to shut down Nord Stream 2 have failed, pipeline will be completed soon
Moscow announced years of economic sanctions and Washington’s political efforts came to nothing, and work on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is now almost complete.
Speaking at a meeting in St. Petersburg on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said final preparations are underway on the submarine link, which will connect Siberian gas fields to consumers of Western Europe.
“It will be finished in a few days and start working,” he added.
He said the US government’s efforts to sink the pipeline now have no chance of success, despite the introduction of new sanctions in recent days.
“There is still a frontal attack, in spite of everything, on Nord Stream 2,” he said, in spite of the fact that “everyone knows that the Americans have achieved [it will be completed.]”
Lavrov’s comments came as Russian state energy company Gazprom announced that the last pipe of Nord Stream 2’s second channel was being welded in place.
“The next step will be to connect the section of the pipeline from the German coast,” said the company behind the project.
Last month, US President Joe Biden signed a new package of sanctions targeting companies involved in construction. In a letter sent to Congress, the White House said that “certain Russian energy pipeline projects” would expand Russian influence in the region and weaken “Ukraine and the NATO and EU countries of eastern flank ”, thus threatening“ the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States ”.
The news came as German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two countries continued to support the project despite opposition from the United States, and Biden had previously acknowledged that work on the gas link was at an advanced stage. Shortly after taking office, he noted that “to go ahead and impose sanctions now, I think it is counterproductive in terms of our European relations”.
The previous month, US and German officials had reached a deal to allow construction to continue in exchange for Berlin’s pledges to support sanctions against Moscow if it shows “aggression” against Ukraine. Kiev has warned that it could lose billions of dollars in gas transit fees each year if Moscow turns off the taps on its Soviet-built pipeline network after the completion of Nord Stream 2.