Gazprom, a majority-state owned Russian energy company, resumed work in laying pipeline in Danish waters over the weekend after the project was halted during the Trump-era over the threat of sanctions.
“The pipelay vessel Fortuna has started pipelay works on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in Denmark’s Exclusive Economic Zone today, following the start of works in the construction corridor there on 24 January and successful completion of sea trials,” a Nord Stream 2 spokesperson said via email.
“The Russian-led pipeline in the Baltic Sea has almost been completed, despite US sanctions and opposition from some EU member states,” Deutsche Welle reported. “The controversial project will double the amount of natural gas exported to Germany” from Russia.
“Construction of the pipeline is mostly complete but around 120 km is left to be laid in Danish waters as well as 30 km in German waters, before it makes landfall at the northern German coastal town of Lubmin, near Greifswald,” Reuters reported. “The United States has long said the pipeline will increase Russian leverage over Europe and will bypass Ukraine, depriving Kyiv of lucrative transit fees. The United States is also keen to sell its sea-borne liquefied natural gas to European countries.”
The news generated backlash for the Biden administration after they canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline during Biden’s first week in office, which killed the jobs of many Americans.
Donald Trump Jr. responded to the news by writing on Twitter: “Foreign pipelines that Trump shut down are back in business but American pipelines that employ American workers and create American energy independence are shut down and the jobs destroyed. The Democrats America last policy in action.”
“The Biden Administration is not enforcing Congressional demands to sanction Nord Stream 2,” former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell said. “This comes after Biden’s silence on Merkel’s refusal to back the US over Communist China – and Biden’s reversing the 10,000 US troop withdrawal from Germany.”
Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) responded to the news by writing: “Foreign pipelines: Back in business American pipelines: Shutting down, workers losing jobs & being sent home.”
Political strategist Arthur Schwartz wrote: “The Russian energy pipeline that Trump shut down is back in business under Biden. Keystone Pipeline workers and their unions should be furious. You sold out your members, @RichardTrumka . Pipe laying for Nord Stream 2 restarts in Danish waters.”
Even Democrat President Joe Biden has reportedly said that he thinks that the pipeline would be a “bad deal for Europe.”
“The U.S. State Department this month told European companies which it suspects are helping to build Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that they face a risk of sanctions, a spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday, as the outgoing Trump administration prepares a final round of punitive measures against the project,” Reuters reported last month. “The State Department reached out to companies after Jan. 1, alerting them to the new sanctions risk after the Senate overrode a Trump veto of a massive defense bill that contained punitive measures on the pipeline.”