Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Politics
QuickTake

Why the World Worries About Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

The Gazprom PJSC Slavyanskaya compressor station, the starting point of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, in Ust-Luga, Russia.

The Gazprom PJSC Slavyanskaya compressor station, the starting point of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, in Ust-Luga, Russia.

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg
Updated on
From

A natural gas pipeline built under the Baltic Sea from Russia to the German coast is shaking up geopolitics. Nord Stream 2, as it’s called, has fueled worries in the U.S. and beyond that the Kremlin’s leverage over Europe and its energy market will increase once the twin pipeline is operational. Championed by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel but viewed more cautiously by the government of her successor Olaf Scholz, it was completed in September after the U.S. and Germany reached a deal on the project. 

It’s a 1,230-kilometer (764-mile) pipeline that doubles the capacity of the existing undersea route from Russian gas fields to Europe -- the original Nord Stream -- which opened in 2011 and can handle 55 billion cubic meters per year. Russia’s Gazprom PJSC owns the project operator, with other investors contributing half of the 9.5 billion-euro ($10.8 billion) cost.