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23 Dec, 2019 09:17

Nord Stream 2 will be operational in 2nd half of 2020 despite US sanctions setting project timing back – top German official

Nord Stream 2 will be operational in 2nd half of 2020 despite US sanctions setting project timing back – top German official

US sanctions will have an impact on building the Russo-German Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but the flagship project will nevertheless be completed next year, according to a top-tier government official in Berlin.

The $11-billion pipeline, which extends from Russia to Germany across the bottom of the Baltic Sea, will be finished “in the second half of the next year,” Peter Beyer, the government’s Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation, told Deutschlandfunk radio station on Monday.

Washington recently slapped crippling sanctions on сompanies laying the remaining stretch of the Nord Stream 2 in the Baltic Sea. The penalties were “hardly surprising” although they will cause “a throwback in time” for the project, Beyer acknowledged.  

Earlier, it emerged that Allseas, a Dutch-Swiss company installing pipes for the Nord Stream, has withdrawn its pipe-laying ships from the Baltic waters, according to a Bloomberg report. 

Nevertheless, it remains to be seen if the American penalties will be able to jeopardize the entire project. Moscow has given reassurances that the pipeline “will become a reality anyway, despite all these threats,” as will the TurkStream project – another one in Washington’s sanctions legislation.

Some in US-Russian business circles agree with the standpoint. “It’s obvious that the project will be finalized,” Alexis Rodzianko, the president and CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, told RIA Novosti.

“Therefore, the sanctions look more like an expression of discontent, I don’t think that they [the US] can somehow stop it. If some fines or penalties are to follow, they will be very unpopular among us allies,” he commented.

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