The Nord Stream gas pipeline, which will be launched on Tuesday, will help enhance Europe’s energy security, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.
“This is a long-awaited event which signifies the strengthening of relations between Russia and the European Union. This event will enhance the security regime, including energy security in Europe,” Medvedev said at a news conference.
The pipeline will deliver Russian gas via the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing key transit countries Ukraine and Belarus. Russia provides up to 30 percent of the gas consumed in Europe.
The $11-billion Nord Stream project includes two roughly parallel pipelines with an overall annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters.
Russia’s gas giant Gazprom, which holds 51 percent in the Nord Stream, has already signed long-term contracts on gas deliveries via the Nord Stream pipeline with several European countries, including Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Britain.