MOSCOW – Russia can start supplies of natural gas to Europe via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as soon as it gets the green light from Germany, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, blaming the gas crisis and record high prices on the EU’s energy policy.
The pipeline, funded by Kremlin-owned energy giant Gazprom and its European partners, is expected to obtain certification from a German regulator to begin commercial sales of natural gas, though the approval process could take several months.
“If the German regulator hands its clearance for supplies tomorrow, supplies of 17.5 billion cubic metres will start the day after tomorrow,” Putin told a televised forum.
The Swiss-based operator of Nord Stream 2 said on Monday that it had filled the first line of the pipeline with “technical” gas.
Putin said Russia was on track to complete filling the second line of the Nord Stream 2 undersea gas pipeline, which runs on the bed of the Baltic Sea to Germany, in the middle to the end of December.
Russia has said Nord Stream 2, which is set to double Moscow’s annual gas export capacity in the Baltic to 110 billion cubic metres, could provide relief to the European gas market, which has been grappling with tight supplies and soaring prices.