Germany and Russia opened a second strand of the
Nord Stream gas pipeline on Monday, in an event described by
officials as an important step towards keeping energy deliveries to
The 9.6-billion-dollar project is an expression of confidence between the European Union and Russia, former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said at an opening ceremony near the Russian city of St Petersburg.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a video statement: "Gas will be delivered directly, by the shortest route, connecting Russia's most substantial gas fields with European markets, without transit risks - in stable supply and without interruptions. We guarantee this."
Schroeder was along with Putin a leader in pushing for approval and finding financing for the bilateral project back in 2005. The pipeline, whose first strand was put into operation 11 months ago, runs on the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the 1,224-kilometre pipeline contributes to the energy security of Europe, and demonstrates how governments and corporations can work together effectively.
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