Fortuna Pipe-Laying Vessel Returns To Complete Nord Stream 2, Despite Sanction Calls

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Fortuna Pipe-Laying Vessel Returns To Complete Nord Stream 2, Despite Sanction Calls

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On January 24th, the Russian pipe-laying ship “Fortuna” left Germany was preparing “preparatory works and tests” before restarting construction of the Nord Stream 2.

It is owned by the Russian company KVT-RUS and left Germany a few days ago and was located 28 kilometers south of the Danish island of Bornholm.

Despite being subject to US sanctions, “Fortuna” resumed work “in line with relevant permits,” the Nord Stream company said.

The European Parliament on January 21st passed a non-binding resolution urging Brussels to halt the completion of the pipeline.

Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states fiercely oppose the project, fearing among other things, that it will increase Europe’s reliance on Russian energy, which Moscow could leverage to exert political pressure.

They are also trying to push the EU to sanction the project in connection to Alexey Navalny’s arrest.

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda called for further EU sanctions in an interview published on January 24th in the Financial Times.

“If you want to enforce international law, the only option without guns, cannons and bombs is sanctions,” Duda said. “That is why we are ready to contribute to a consensus on this issue.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she would not abandon the project, despite it being the subject of bipartisan US sanctions.

She said she wants to discuss it with the new Biden administration and that the poisoning of Navalny had not changed her opinion.

German officials said that the United States will place sanctions on the “Fortuna”.

Signed off by then president Trump in late 2019, the sanction measures threaten asset freezes and visa restrictions for companies involved in the construction.

The exact date of the resumption of pipe-laying work in the Baltic remains unclear, with no details from Nord Stream.

But the pipeline is almost complete, with most of the remaining pipe-laying work to be done in the waters off Denmark.

Construction of the 1,230-kilometer (764-mile) gas pipeline was frozen after U.S. sanctions in December 2019, when all but 160 kilometers of the link had been put in place.

In December 2020, construction resumed in Germany’s exclusive economic zone, where the Fortuna built 2.6 kilometers of the pipeline.

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