MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is nearing completion, and 15 km of it remains to be laid by sea.
"Fifteen kilometers are still to be laid by sea, that's all. It can be said that [construction] is nearing completion," the Russian leader said on Friday at a press conference following talks in Moscow with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Putin noted that the route for transporting gas to Europe via Nord Stream 2 was 2,000 km shorter than the transit route through Ukraine, and the project itself cut emissions five times during the transit of Russian gas to Europe.
"This is a modern, environmentally clean system, these are not just empty words," Putin said.
"Moreover, it is much cheaper than transit via the Ukrainian route," he added.
The talk that the construction of Nord Stream 2 is a political process is "a delusion or an attempt to mislead someone," Putin stressed.
About the project
The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the completion of two gas pipelines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year from the coast of Russia across the Baltic Sea to Germany. Work on the project was suspended in December 2019 after Swiss Allseas abandoned pipe-laying operations due to the then-looming US sanctions. In December 2020, the construction of the gas pipeline was resumed after a year's pause.
In late July, it was reported that Nord Stream 2 was 99% complete, and the pipe-laying barge Fortuna continued to work at the final section. The first string of the pipeline was completed in June this year.