A Russian icebreaker supply vessel entered the Nord Stream-2 base in Germany. It will increase the fleet of the project vessels in German waters to five. The pipe-laying vessel is still in the German port, but two vessels of the Morspassluzhba are on duty at the beginning of the unfinished section.
According to the navigation portal Vesselfinder, the icebreaker “Yuri Topchev” left Kaliningrad and headed for the German port Mukran, which is the logistics center of “Nord Stream – 2”. It is to arrive there in the morning, November 18.
By all its characteristics, the vessel is suitable for pipe-laying at “Nord Stream – 2” and belongs to LLC “Koksohimtrans”, which is already under U.S. sanctions for operations in the Crimea. It is known that the company acquired car-passenger ferries, which worked at Crimea-Taman crossing, under financial leasing. For that, ‘Koksohimtrans’ found itself in the US sanctions lists.
For Gazprom, the use of the vessel Koksohimtrans eliminates the threat of sanctions against the participants of Nord Stream-2. OOO also owns another icebreaker supplying vessel, Vladislav Strizhov, which has already visited the Nord Stream-2 base in Germany in late September.
Meanwhile, preparations for the Baltic gas pipeline completion are still underway. The Academician Chersky pipelayer is located at the pier in Mukran. A tugboat Mentor is working next to it. Next to it, the supply vessel Finval, which belongs to the Marine Passenger Service, is moored. This is evidenced by the photos in Instagram.
And here are two other supply vessels of the Marine Service, “Umka” and “Artemis Offshore”, are in German economic waters in the Baltic Sea. Judging by the navigation portals, the ships are at the end of the pipeline, which was laid off the German coast. It will be lifted to the pipe-layer when construction is resumed. Supply vessels themselves indicate by AIS, that they are in a mode of limited maneuverability.
As reported by TOP NEWS, construction of Nord Stream 2 may resume in early November. After retrofitting and modernization of “Academician Chersky”, accompanied by “Finval” and “Umka” was tested at the Curonian Spit, and then returned to Mukran, where the last work onboard the pipelayer was to be completed.
About 160 kilometers of the gas pipeline – in Danish and German waters – remained to be completed for Nord Stream 2.
Last year, the U.S. imposed sanctions against the pipe-laying owners, who will provide their vessels for the project, and the fleet of Swiss Allseas left the project. “Gazprom, in its turn, began assembling a fleet of Russian vessels, to which the U.S. responded with threats of new sanctions, which it wants to adopt in its defense budget for next year in November and December. At the same time, the U.S. State Department has already imposed additional sanctions on companies that are retrofitting and upgrading pipe-layers for Nord Stream-2. At “Academician Chersky”, however, the work, in fact, has already been completed.