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What is the Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline?

© AFP 2023 / ODD ANDERSENA road sign directs traffic towards the Nord Stream 2 gas line landfall facility entrance in Lubmin, north eastern Germany, on September 7, 2020
A road sign directs traffic towards the Nord Stream 2 gas line landfall facility entrance in Lubmin, north eastern Germany, on September 7, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.10.2022
Nord Stream 2 is a gas pipeline designed to deliver Russian natural gas from Russia to Germany through the waters of the Baltic Sea. Here is how the Nord Stream 2 project was developed.
The gas artery’s construction wrapped up in September 2021. However, it was immediately followed by a raft of problems pertaining to the process of certifying the project that evolved into full-scale sabotage of the whole Nord Stream gas network.

Who Controls Nord Stream 2?

The project is controlled by the operating company Nord Stream AG office in Switzerland’s Zug.
Last year, Nord Stream 2’s certification was delayed by Germany, with the process halted indefinitely in February 2022.
Just six months later, a major breakdown hit the gas artery, with underwater blasts detected on the pipeline. The EU saw the incident as sabotage, and Moscow castigated it as an act of international terrorism.
At the time, German media quoted unnamed sources as saying that the certification won’t proceed any further "until the main assets and human resources have been transferred to the subsidiary”.
© Sputnik / Alexey VitvitskyNord Stream pipeline
Nord Stream pipeline - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.10.2022
Nord Stream pipeline

What is the Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline and Who Funded It?

Designed to carry Russian “blue fuel” to Germany through the Baltic Sea, Nord Stream 2 was founded by Russia’s Gazprom.
The project’s cost stands at about a whopping €9.5 billion ($9.2 billion). European companies chipped in to pay half the sum. Among these companies are:
France’s Engie
Austria’s OMV
the UK-Holland’s Shell
Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall.
Initial plans stipulated that Gazprom would receive 51% of the company's shares, while the rest should have been granted to its above-mentioned European partners. In 2017, however, Gazprom bought out all 100% shares of Nord Stream 2 AG, with the European companies starting to act as the project’s investors.
In June 2021, Famil Sadygov, deputy chairman of Gazprom’s Board of Directors, pointed out that “the project is fully provided with financing to complete its investment stage and move to the operational one”.

Where is the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Situated?

The 1,234 km project passes through the territories of
Nord Stream 2 bypasses transit countries, including Ukraine, Belarus, and Poland.
Nord Stream to Europe Across the Baltic Sea - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.09.2012
Nord Stream to Europe Across the Baltic Sea

Why is the US Against Nord Stream 2?

The US, along with its allies in Eastern Europe, especially Poland and Ukraine, has repeatedly opposed the construction of Nord Stream 2.
Washington previously imposed two rounds of sanctions on the project, arguing that once Nord Stream 2 is operational, Europe will become even more dependent on Russia's energy resources, something that the White House claims will help Moscow obtain political leverage.
In this vein, former US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell described Nord Stream 2 as “an unceremonious attempt” by Russian authorities to increase the strangulation of European allies and partners in terms of energy supply in 2019.
Nord Stream 2  - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.09.2022
Nord Stream Sabotage
Observers: A Big Winner From Nord Stream Destruction is US
Last year, the Biden administration decided to waive sanctions against Nord Stream 2, citing its understanding of the fact that the sanctions would not work and referring to its unwillingness to alienate Berlin, one of Washington’s key allies.
Moscow has repeatedly underscored that the project is purely economic and that the way the White House opposes it is an example of unfair competition. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov voiced hope in 2019 that the pipeline would be launched regardless of the US position on the matter.
“Europeans understand their commercial interest […] from the standpoint of providing long-term energy security,” he pointed out.

How Expensive Would Gas Be for Germany Without Nord Stream 2?

On September 16, the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper сited the German Public Utilities Association as reporting that next year may see a 60% increase in gas prices in the country due to a reduction in supplies from Russia amid the suspension of the Nord Stream 2 project.
According to the newspaper, with electricity prices in Germany increasing by more than 10%, the so-called ultimate consumers now have to pay 30-60% more for gas than before the beginning of the ongoing Russian special military operation in Ukraine, which was launched on February 24 and followed by western countries slapping packages of “severe sanctions” on Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the audience during a plenary session of the Russian Energy Week forum in Moscow - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.10.2022
Nord Stream Sabotage
Putin: Terror Attacks Against Nord Stream Seek to Undermine Energy Security of Continent
In this regard, Klaus Ernst, head of the Bundestag’s Committee for Economics and Energy, insisted that it is worth considering launching Nord Stream 2 due to what he called the absence of other alternatives.

“Due to the limited volumes of gas supplies via Nord Stream [1] and Germany’s need in Russian ‘blue fuel’, Berlin should mull launching the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline”.

According to him, “In general, it doesn’t matter through which pipeline the gas is delivered to Germany because the fuel remains Russian anyway”. “In this sense”, Ernst argued, “the issue of Nord Stream 2 is rather symbolic”.

What’s the Difference Between Nord Stream 1 and 2?

Both pipelines are parts of the single Nord Stream gas transportation network.
Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which entered into service in 2011, starts its route in the northern Russian town of Vyborg, while Nord Stream 2, which has yet to start running, begins its path near Russia’s northwestern Ust-Luga.
Most recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that one Nord Stream 2 branch was in working condition, adding that “the decision to launch it is not being made and is unlikely to be made, but this is not our [Russia’s] business”.
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