Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will be fully completed by the end of 2021, TASS reports.
According to Novak, the construction is proceeding according to schedule, and if there are no new obstacles, the pipeline can be put into operation by the end of 2021.
Novak's words were indirectly confirmed by the CEO of the Austrian energy company, OMV Group, Reiner Seele. Speaking at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, he said that only 50 km of were left to be laid.
On June 4, speaking at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Putin said that the first phase of Nord Stream 2 had been completed and the second phase had begun.
According to Putin, all construction work could be completed by September 1, ahead of the parliamentary elections in Germany, where Alliance 90/The Greens, known for its opposition to Nord Stream 2, is projected to win.
The completion of the 10-billion-euro project, of which 5 billion was invested by Gazprom, and the remainder by five European energy companies, is expected before the end of the year, said the Energy Minister, Alexander Novak.
Two pipes with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year, laid on the bottom of the Baltic Sea from the coast of Russia to Germany, were the third attempt of the Kremlin to bypass Ukraine in delivering gas to Europe.
The first, South Stream was blocked by Bulgaria, the second, TurkStream, was partially blocked by Turkey, which agreed to use only one line of Turkish Stream instead of the three that Gazprom had hoped for.
The fact that the U.S. decided not to impose sanctions against the operator of the Nord Stream 2, Nord Stream 2 AG, will increase the chances of its completion this year, but will not prevent further disputes about the operation of the pipeline, warns Konstantin Simonov, director of the Russian National Energy Security Fund.
In 2019, the European Commission adopted amendments to the gas directive, which prohibit one company to be both the owner of the gas pipeline and the gas supplier.
This means that Gazprom is required to provide access to Nord Stream-2 to independent gas suppliers, and it can use only half of the capacity, 27.5 billion cubic meters per year.