Nord Stream 2: Minor Issues in Construction Could Result in Major Disaster
As Russia has failed to secure a pipelaying fleet with more advanced technology for the Nord Stream 2 project completion, it is now forced to rely on own capabilities, currently represented by technologically obsolete vessels in a near-disastrous condition, Ukrainian intelligence analysts have stated.
These include Vienna, Vladislav Strizhov, Yuri Topchev, Umka, Vengery, Finval, Errie, and Katun ships, the Foreign Intelligence Service (SZRU) reports.
The Katun vessel since March 16 has been undergoing repairs in the dock of the port of Munkebo (Denmark) after sustaining external damage to the hull and controls, the report notes.
Also, technical specifications of the Umka vessel no longer meet the high pace at which Russia is making efforts to complete the NS2 construction, intelligence analysts stress.
According to the expert community, the use of technologically obsolete vessels and equipment increases the likelihood of a future regional-scale environmental disaster with dire implications in conditions of peak loads, reads the report.
Nord Stream 2: Background
The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction and operation of two gas pipeline branches with a total throughput capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. It should connect Russia's Ust-Lug and Germany's Greifswald. This new pipeline bypassing Ukraine is to be built next to the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
The construction of the pipeline was expected to be completed before the end of 2019.
The pipeline will be 1,220 km long. The project is being implemented by Russia's Gazprom in alliance with a number of European companies. Ukraine stands against the project as it will most likely strip the country of its gas transit country status, while potential annual revenue losses are estimated at US$3 billion. The project is also highly criticized by the U.S., Poland, and the Baltic States.
The United States is urging European allies and private companies to halt works on Nord Stream 2, and is preparing broader sanctions against the Russian project in the coming weeks.
The U.S. Senate approved the National Defense Authorization Act 2021, which provides for new sanctions against Russia's Nord Stream 2.
On January 7, 2021, a fund was established in Germany to support the completion of the Nord Stream 2 project.
On January 13, 2021, the U.S. Department of State notified European companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 of the risk of imposing new sanctions.
On January 18, 2021, the United States warned allies in Europe about its intention to impose sanctions on the Russian ship Fortuna, which is engaged in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
On February 22, 2021, the United States imposed new sanctions on the Russian FORTUNA vessel building Nord Stream 2.
As of February 23, 2021, eighteen European companies at once refused to partake in completing the construction of Nord Stream 2 over fears of U.S. sanctions.
On March 4, 2021, the construction of Nord Stream 2 in Danish waters was extended by late September.
On March 14, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans said that Europe does not need the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
On March 18, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky branded Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline a trap for all countries across Europe.
This article was republished from UNIAN.