The Russian ship that is due to complete the controversial North Stream 2 gas pipeline began work in the Baltic Sea on Sunday, despite new US sanctions. The biplayer ship “Fortuna” announced to Nord Stream 2 in Moscow that it had “begun work” before resuming construction of Nord Stream 2 on Danish waters.
“Fortuna” was 15 nautical miles (about 28 kilometers) from the Danish island of Bournemouth on Sunday, according to data from location services such as Weselfinder and Marine Traffic. There were several Russian ships nearby that had to support “Fortuna”.
Nortstream 2, which is largely funded by the Russian state-owned company Gosprom, aims to significantly increase the capacity of Russia to supply gas to Germany. The nine billion euro plan has long been controversial in the European Union, and the United States rejects it. The Central Government continues to support this project. Construction of the pipeline is almost complete, and there is still work to be done on Danish water.
In early December, work on a 1,200-kilometer pipeline across the Baltic Sea into German waters resumed after being suspended for nearly a year due to US sanctions. In the waters of Denmark, re-construction is allowed from January 15.
First, however, the inauguration of the new US President, Joe Biden, awaited last Wednesday. Earlier, the government of Donald Trump, the predecessor of Biden, had informed the federal government that US sanctions would be imposed on “Fortune”.
Additional criticisms after Navalny’s arrest
Critics of the pipeline fear say, among other things, the weakness of alternative pipelines and traditional transportation countries such as Ukraine. The arrest of Alexei Navalny, a well-known Kremlin critic, after his return to Russia caused further criticism. In a resolution on Thursday, the EU parliament called for a halt to the construction of the German-Russian pipeline project.
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In an interview released on Sunday, Polish President Andrzej Duda spoke in support of EU sanctions against Russia because of the actions of Russian security forces against the protests of Navalny’s supporters. “If you want to enforce international law, the only way to get rid of guns, artillery and bombs is through sanctions,” Duda told the Financial Times. “So we are ready to contribute to the consensus on this issue.”
Navalny drank poison with a neurological agent belonging to the Novitsok group in Russia in the summer and was later treated in Berlin. Soon after returning to Russia, Navalny was arrested on Sunday and later sentenced to 30 days in prison for violating probation conditions. More than 3,500 people were arrested on Saturday in national protests against it. (AFP)