MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s state-controlled gas giant said Friday it has completed the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, a contentious project that Ukraine and the United States have strongly opposed.
Gazprom said in a statement on the messaging app Telegram, citing its CEO Alexei Miller, that the construction of Nord Stream 2 was “fully completed” on Friday morning.
Owned by Gazprom, with investment from several European companies, Nord Stream 2 is built under the Baltic Sea and bypasses Poland and Ukraine, raising objections from both those countries.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has described the new pipeline as a powerful geopolitical weapon for Russia, which annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 after the ouster of the former Kremlin-friendly president and has thrown its weight behind a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine.
Washington has strongly opposed the construction of Nord Stream 2, but the administration of Joe Biden has opted not to punish the German company overseeing the project while announcing sanctions against Russian companies and ships.
In July, the U.S and Germany reached a deal to allow Nord Stream 2′s completion without the imposition of U.S. sanctions on German entities.
Under the terms of the July 21 deal, the U.S. and Germany committed to countering any Russian attempt to use the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a political weapon. And, they agreed to support Ukraine and Poland by funding alternative energy and development projects.