Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (MV) Manuela Schwesig has visited with Russian Ambassador to Germany Sergey Nechayev the loading station of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Lubmin near Greifswald. Nechayev announced after the meeting that Russia expects NS2 to be completed this year.
Nechayev said that about 100 km of the pipeline remained to be laid. US sanctions have repeatedly delayed the project, but construction work has been underway for several weeks on the pipeline, which will be about 1,200km long when completed. Since Monday, a second pipe-laying unit has been working off the coast of Denmark on the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
The Russian ambassador and Schwesig toured the transshipment station to see the progress of the construction work. Reporters were not allowed in. They made brief statements after the meeting, reports the NDR station’s portal.
Schwesig once again made it clear that she supports the project: “We see this pipeline as particularly important because it strengthens economic relations between MV and Russia,” – she said.
Part of a joint partnership is precisely that we support projects that bring us together, but it also means talking openly with each other about issues where we disagree. That is what I mean by dialogue. Dialogue is not the withdrawal of support for the other side – said the Minister-President of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, in the context of the criticism of Russia, which is also becoming increasingly vocal in Germany after the prison sentence handed down to Alexei Navalny.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern maintains close economic relations with Russia. However, in the face of EU sanctions against Russia, which Germany also supports, relations are deteriorating. The Russian ambassador said that more attention should be paid to gas than to political issues.
The US, France, Ukraine and Poland are demanding that the German government withdraw from the project. Also in Germany there is growing pressure on the federal government to shelve Nord Stream 2.
The German government has repeatedly stressed that Nord Stream 2 is an economic project. This is also the position of the prime minister of the government of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, who also does not want to see a connection between the events surrounding Navalny and the construction of the gas pipeline, writes NDR.
The pipeline, which is to transport 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year from Russia to Germany, is almost finished. According to Nord Stream 2 AG, 95 percent of the pipeline has already been laid.