Brussels (Brussels Morning) Swiss-based Nord Stream 2 AG, the company in charge of the Nord Stream 2 project pipeline, announced on Wednesday that the pipeline is “99% complete”. It added that the Russian pipe-laying ship Fortuna has been deployed to finish construction.
After the report was released, prices for natural gas dropped sharply in Europe, according to Reuters.
Nord Stream 2 CEO Matthias Warnig announced last month that the pipeline should start delivering Russian gas to Germany by the end of the year, but did not provide dates. While the company did not give the expected completion date, according to DW reporting, the pipeline should be completed on Monday, 23 August.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin are to meet on Friday in Moscow and are expected to discuss Nord Stream 2.
US, European lawmakers critical
Earlier this month, US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations chair Bob Menendez and his counterparts from several European countries opposed the agreement between Germany and the US to allow the gas pipeline to be completed.
“We consider Nord Stream 2 a geopolitical project geared towards expanding Russia’s influence on Europe by dominating the energy market,” the Democratic Senator warned in the joint statement with his counterparts from Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine the Czech Republic and the UK.
Last month, Merkel and US President Joe Biden reached an agreement to allow investors to complete the controversial pipeline which critics warn will make Europe more reliant on Russian gas, according to Reuters reporting earlier this month.
Ukraine has been a vocal critic of the gas pipeline project for years, stressing that it would allow Russia to reroute natural gas for the European market around the country, which would deprive it of transit fees and jeopardise its security.
Russian Gazprom energy giant signed the agreement to build Nord Stream 2 with European counterparts in 2015 and Germany approved construction in its territorial waters in 2018, with construction starting in May.