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The World’s Most Controversial Gas Pipeline Is Nearing Its Endgame

Satellite images show a Russian ship is set to challenge U.S. sanctions seeking to halt Nord Stream 2 link 

Nord Stream 2 pipeline segments stored at the port in Mukran, Germany are inspected by a worker (Photo by Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images)

Nord Stream 2 pipeline segments stored at the port in Mukran, Germany are inspected by a worker (Photo by Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images)

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Construction of the world’s most controversial natural gas pipeline is  about to enter the endgame of an energy dispute that’s pitted the U.S. against Russia and some of its closest trans-Atlantic allies, satellite images show.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, built to increase the flow of Russian gas into Europe’s biggest economy, was thwarted five months ago after U.S. President Donald Trump imposed sanctions that forced workers to retreat. Now, after a three-month voyage circumnavigating the globe, the Akademik Cherskiy, the Russian pipe-laying vessel that’s a  prime candidate to finish the project, has anchored off the German port where the remaining pipeline sections are waiting to be installed.