“Akademik Cherskiy ” anchored at the German port of Mukran

” Akademik Cherskiy “, which can be used for the completion of the gas pipeline “Nord Stream – 2”, is located in territorial waters of Germany.

The only Russian pipelayer Akademik Cherskiy has completed the Baltic Sea crossing and is in German territorial waters. Gazprom’s pipe-laying vessel was parked in the German port of Mukran, according to the tracking sites Marine Traffic and Vesselfinder on Saturday 9 May. The ship entered Mukran the night before, according to this information, late in the evening.

The ship went out of Russian territorial waters on May 7. Earlier it had spent several days in Baltiysk, where it was refueled, food stocks were replenished and the crew was enlarged. Earlier, the ship passed from the southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm. Several tens of kilometers of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline remain unfinished in Denmark’s exclusive economic zone.

The terminal of the Nord Stream 2 project is located in Mukran. Earlier Energy Minister Alexander Novak stated that Academician Chersky may become its completion partner. The pipelayer was moved to the Baltic Sea from the Far Eastern port of Nakhodka.

“Nord Stream – 2” is planned to be completed by the end of 2020.

Yelena Burmistrova, deputy chairman of Gazprom’s management board, assured in January that Russia would complete the new gas pipeline, which is already almost 94 percent ready. In turn, Novak said in late December that “Nord Stream – 2” will be completed by the end of 2020.

“Gazprom bought the Academician Chersky pipelayer in 2015 to become independent from foreign contractors and sanctions risks when building its new export pipelines. The vessel came to Russia in 2017 and since then the Nakhodka Shipyard has been upgrading and retrofitting. In summer 2019 the “Academician Chersky” was used for the first time by Gazprom at the offshore facilities of the Kirinskoye and Yuzhno-Kirinskoye fields.

The Nord Stream-2 construction works have now been suspended due to the US sanctions against European contractors that came into effect at the end of December. Moscow considers US actions as an attempt to “remove Russia from the energy market”. The European Union “strongly rejected” Washington’s position, and in Berlin its steps were seen as interference in Germany’s internal affairs. The U.S. and a number of EU countries oppose the “Nord Stream 2”, arguing that this pipeline will increase Europe’s dependence on fuel supplies from Russia.