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Russia will face no failure in Nord Stream 2 certification, senior Russian diplomat says

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A road sign directs traffic toward the Nord Stream 2 gas line landfall facility entrance, in Lubmin, Germany, on September 10, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

Russia believes that it won’t face any failure regarding the certifications for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and the project will eventually be launched, a top Russian official has told RBC media.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak reiterated on Wednesday that his government does not consider any “plan B” regarding the pipeline project and assured that “it will be launched in line with the timings, set for certification.”

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is a vast network of offshore natural gas pipelines in Europe, running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. Earlier in September, the construction of the pipeline was completed but it lays idle, awaiting regulatory approval from Berlin and Brussels.

The required certification is expected to be granted in the second half of 2022, while Russia hopes no new requirements for the project will be put forward in the meantime.

European governments say the gas link is vital to secure Europe’s energy supplies, with gas prices surging in the continent in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Handelsblatt columnist Jurgen Flauger raised the alarm over Germany’s insufficient gas supplies if there appears any possible disruption of the pipeline project.

He said that Germany “is pulling out of nuclear energy” and the country, “more than many other European nations,” now needs large proportion of gas from Russia.

Flauger warned that if the project is blocked, Moscow may look for new costumers in Asia and ignore the West, a policy that is not desired by Germany.

“Berlin should do everything it can to prevent the dispute over Nord Stream 2 from escalating further,” the author stressed, recalling that Russia followed gas-related regulations with respect to Western customers even during the Cold War.

The warnings came in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remarks that Western attempts to block the Nord Stream 2 is foolish as the project could provide relief to the European gas market, which has been grappling with tight supplies and soaring prices.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, for his part, criticized the EU over turning the gas project into a “bargaining chip” in its confrontation with Russia and attempting to “express solidarity” with Washington.

“It’s sad, but this is a new generation of fanatics of their cause, which found the meaning of their own existence in the battle with Russia,” Ryabkov said.

Ryabkov’s remarks came after German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock warned that her government might block the launch of the pipeline in the event of military escalation with Ukraine.

Kiev and several other Western countries have been accusing Moscow of planning “an invasion” of Ukraine, as it is amassing troops near the border with the latter. However, Russia rejects the allegations and claims that the deployments have a defensive nature.

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