Russia's state-controlled gas giant Gazprom has announced on Friday it has completed construction on the Nord Stream 2 Russia-to-Germany gas pipeline that the United States has long warred against through sanctions leveled by the Trump and Biden administrations.
"Chairman of the Management Committee Alexei Miller said that this morning at 8.45 Moscow time (05:45 GMT) construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was fully completed," Gazprom announced on its social media accounts Friday.
Russia hawks in Washington have lately put the blame on Joe Biden for softening the US stance on Nord Stream, after he dropped sanctions on the German company overseeing its side of the project, citing a desire to avoid harming positive relations with Berlin. In exchange Germany vowed to not allow Russia to use NS-2 as a "political weapon".
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his backers in Washington have accused Russia of pursuing the project in order to punish Kiev by cutting it out of essential natural gas transit fees that would normally be collected through its territory.
It seems that since the project started in 2016, Russia became ever more determined as US sanctions seeking to halt the project grew - at one point even outfitting Gazprom ships to become pipe-laying vessels after a European company bowed out.
Earlier this week Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared efforts by the US to stop construction through political pressure and sanctions an utter failure. He said "there is still a full-frontal attack, in spite of everything, on Nord Stream 2," even though "everyone knows the Americans have realized [it will be completed]."
#UPDATE Russian energy giant Gazprom announces that construction of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting Russia with Germany has been completed.#AFPgraphics on Nord Stream 2: winners and losers pic.twitter.com/LyVOusWlYR— AFP News Agency (@AFP) September 10, 2021
The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier in the summer warned Washington that Russia "has implemented, and will continue to implement, its economic projects regardless of any sanctions."
The 1,200 kilometer (or about 745 miles) underwater pipeline parallels the route of Nord Stream 1, and though now deemed complete, gas has yet to begin flowing through it at this point. A report in Bloomberg indicated gas is likely to start flowing as early as next month.