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  • Both Nord Stream 2 pipelines have been filled with gas and are ready to transport fuel through an underwater channel passing from Russia to Europe and bypassing Ukraine
  • Vladimir Putin said the gas line would help plateau the cost of gas in Europe, where the price of gas and the shortage of it has been a concern in the lead-up to winter
  • The pipeline has been ready since September but has to pass German and European Union approval which is only expected at the end of 2022’s first quarter
  • The controversy around Putin’s pipeline stems from the US, Ukraine and Poland which said Nord Stream 2 would increase Russia’s control over Europe
  • Mr Putin has denied allegations of any plans to leverage or intimidate Ukraine with Nord Stream 2

Both Nord Stream 2 pipelines have been filled with gas and are ready to transport fuel through an underwater channel passing from Russia to Europe and bypassing Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the gas line would help plateau the cost of gas in Europe, where the price of gas and the shortage of it has been a concern in the lead-up to winter.

The pipeline has been ready since September but has to pass German and European Union approval which is only expected at the end of 2022’s first quarter.

The $11 billion (A$15.2 billion) project was built by the Kremlin-controlled gas giant Gazprom with half the cost of the pipeline paid for by a combination of European energy companies.

Those companies were Germany’s Uniper and BASF’s Wintershall Dea, international oil major Shell, Austria’s OMV and France’s Engie.

Problems in the pipeline

The controversy around Putin’s pipeline stems from the US, Ukraine and Poland which said Nord Stream 2 would increase Russia’s control over Europe.

Additionally, the tension between Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and Russian forces has seen the US and UK side with Ukraine.

Mr Putin has denied allegations of any plans to leverage or intimidate Ukraine with Nord Stream 2.

Nord Stream was scheduled for completion in 2019 but a threat of sanctions from the US under the Trump administration forced Swiss-Dutch company Allseas to withdraw, leaving Russia to complete the project on its own accord.

“I’d like to congratulate Gazprom and your partners in Nord Stream 2 on the completion of work and the creation of this additional large trunk-route and that it is ready for work,” Putin told a government meeting, attended by the head of Gazprom Alexei Miller.

Mr Putin said the pipeline will lower the gas prices throughout Europe and Ukraine by increasing the supply of gas

“This, for sure, will have an immediate impact on price on the market, on the spot. And all the countries, the consumers in those countries that consume the Russian gas, of course, will feel it themselves,” Mr Putin said.

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