Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said on Wednesday that Moscow does not take into account the lack of certification approval and believes the pipeline will be launched on schedule.
Asked if Russia has a “plan B” in case the pipeline is not certified, Novak told Russian portal RBK: “We are not considering such options.”
Russia, he added, is counting on there being no new requirements for the project.
The deputy head of the Russian government also said that Russia is ready to increase gas exports to Europe, but under long-term contracts. European companies, meanwhile, prefer short-term deals at spot prices.
The head of Ukraine’s state-owned oil company Naftohaz, Yuriy Vitrenko, in November expressed hope that Nord Stream 2 would not be launched, noting that the construction of the pipeline is against EU law.
Construction of the pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany on the bottom of the Baltic Sea bypassing Ukraine, was completed in September. However, Nord Stream 2 still needs to be approved by German and EU regulators. Nord Stream 2’s certification process is not expected to be completed before the end of the first half of 2022.