Russia Expects Maritime Rules to be Respected Amid Nord Stream 2 Concerns

MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russia expects all maritime traffic rules "to be strictly observed" in the area of the construction site of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a foreign ministry official was quoted on Friday as saying, amid security concerns over the project.

The consortium behind the construction of the underwater Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany warned on Thursday about security risks to the project from warships and planes, as the link nears completion.

"We naturally expect all relevant norms of maritime traffic to be strictly observed," TASS news agency cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko as saying.

The pipeline, aimed at bypassing Ukraine and doubling the capacity of the current Nord Stream undersea gas link from Russia to Germany, has been the focus of tensions between Moscow and Washington, which imposed sanctions against the project.

Andrey Minin, a senior official at the Nord Stream 2 AG consortium, has said that the project's fleet has been the target of "regular provocations by foreign civil and military vessels", including from nearby Poland.

"We continue to believe that the project serves the interests of strengthening Europe's energy security," Grushko said, according to TASS. According to Nord Stream 2 AG, the pipeline is 95% complete and around 121 kilometres (75 miles) remains to be built. "We have complete confidence that the project will be completed," Grushko told TASS.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that it was ultimately up to those building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline whether to complete it despite opposition from Washington.

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