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Nord Stream 2: how Putin’s pipeline paralysed the west

By Patrick Wintour

23 Dec 2021 · 12 min read

The saga of Nord Stream 2, the gas pipeline between Russia and Germany running along the Baltic seabed, has been stuck so long it has been likened to a suitcase at an airport without a handle – impossible to abandon, and impossible to carry forward. Most of the original cast of characters – Jean-Claude Juncker, Angela Merkel, Matteo Renzi, David Cameron, Petro Poroshenko – have left the political stage. Only one politician has survived the entire story: Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, and the master of divide and rule.

First announced in 2015, the $11bn (£8.3bn) pipeline owned by Russia’s state-backed energy giant Gazprom has been built to carry gas from western Siberia, doubling the existing capacity of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and keeping 26m German homes warm at an affordable price.

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