Russia ready to fill Nord Stream 2 with gas as first line complete

This Sept 7, 2020 photo shows the Nord Stream 2 gas line landfall facility in Lubmin, north eastern Germany. (ODD ANDERSEN / AFP)

Russia is ready to start filling its Nord Stream 2 pipeline with gas as that first line has been finished, President Vladimir Putin told an economic forum on Friday, after Moscow was left alone to build the project hit by US sanctions.

"Today… the pipelaying work of the first Nord Stream 2 line was successfully finished. Work on the second line is ongoing," Putin told the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. "Gazprom is ready to start filing Nord Stream 2 with gas."

The pipeline bypassed Ukraine, potentially depriving it of lucrative transit revenues when Kyiv is locked in a confrontation with Moscow, though the Kremlin says it will continue to use Ukraine as a gas transit country

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Gazprom shares rallied after announcement, adding 0.6 percent and reaching 273.80 roubles (US$3.74) per share, their highest since mid-2008.

Gazprom was left without its pipe-laying company in late 2019 following US sanctions, and has since continued alone. The United States last month waived some sanctions on the Nord Stream 2.

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The pipeline bypassed Ukraine, potentially depriving it of lucrative transit revenues when Kyiv is locked in a confrontation with Moscow, though the Kremlin says it will continue to use Ukraine as a gas transit country.

Nord Stream 2, which runs beneath the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, is nearly complete and Moscow plans to fully finish it this year.