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Putin says Russia has a ship equipped to build the Nord Stream 2 pipeline

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country has a “ship that specializes in laying pipelines” that could complete construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that arrives in Germany, following sanctions imposed, the daily Kommersant reported, citing unnamed sources, on Thursday.

Kommersant reported that Putin spoke of the ship in front of a gathering of Russian business leaders late on Wednesday. The Russian president said, according to the newspaper, that the duration of the project “will be prolonged” for several months due to the sanctions.

And US President Donald Trump imposed sanctions last week on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, through which Moscow aims to avoid the passage of gas in Ukraine and increase gas supplies across the Baltic Sea to Germany, which is the largest customer of Russian energy.

The Swiss-Dutch company, Ulises, which is building the pipeline using two ships, Pioneer Spirit and Solitaire, has suspended work to avoid US sanctions.

In 2016, the Russian energy giant Gazprom bought a ship that specializes in laying pipelines, called Akademik Chersky, to use as a last resort if European companies halt work on the Nord Stream 2.

A Gazprom source said that Chersky’s average speed of pipelines was slower than Pioneer Spirit, but he did not provide a specific estimate.

According to Refinitiv’s data, Chersky is currently anchored in the Russian port of Nakhodka on the Pacific Ocean.

Before Washington announced sanctions on companies that build Nord Stream 2, Russian officials said the pipeline would operate before or near the middle of 2020.

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