Energy giant Gazprom announces completion of controversial subsea pipeline to Germany that will allow Moscow to increase its gas exporting capability and bypass Ukraine.
Energy giant Gazprom has announced that construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, set to double natural gas supplies from Russia to Germany by bypassing Ukraine, has been completed.
Following the announcement on Friday, Ukraine immediately reacted, saying it will fight the "political project."
"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 said in a statement on Friday.
"Ukraine will fight this political project, before and after it's completion and even after the gas is turned on," Sergiy Nykyforov, the spokesman of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, following the Moscow's announcement.
Tensions in Europe
Nord Stream 2 has divided European capitals and raised tensions between the bloc and Washington.
US officials from both parties have long feared it would give Russia too much power over European gas supplies.
Poland and Ukraine also expressed their displeasure over the decision to allow the pipeline's completion and said efforts to reduce the Russian security threat were not sufficient.
Russia rejects 'political weapon' claim
Russia has rejected the claims by the US, Ukraine, Poland and others that it has used energy as a political weapon and insisted it has no intention to do so in the future.
A key controversy is that it diverts supplies from an existing route through Ukraine and is expected to deprive Europe's ally of annual transit from Russia.
The new pipeline will be able to transport 55 billion cubic metres of gas per year, enough to supply 26 million households, operator Nord Stream 2 said.