Russia is Using Warships to Secure Nord Stream 2 Completion

  • The route is from the Indian ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.
  • The combined capacity of the two Nord streams lines expected to be 110 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
  • The vessel being used is the Akademik Cherskiy.

In order to complete Nord Stream 2, Russia decided to have the Gazprom vessels accompanied by Russian warships. The route is from the Indian ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. Nord stream 2 is a new export gas pipeline from Russia to Europe via the Baltic Sea. The combined capacity of each of the two Nord streams lines is expected to be 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Thus, the total design capacity of Nord stream and Nord stream-2 is 110 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

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Interestingly, after reaching the Suez Canal the warships turned off their signal and couldn’t be tracked, according to a well known navigation portal that was tracking the movement of the Academik Cherskiy (a pipe-laying vessel) when it changed direction and then disabled its automatic signal on March 6. However, on March 4, the Russian guard ship of the Baltic fleet arrived in the capital of Sri Lanka. On March 6, the patrol ship was traveling along the route of the pipe-laying vessel at the same time, and the Russian Navy’s warships were able to ensure the safe passage of the Gazprom ship to the Red sea and the Suez canal. Traditionally, ships in near Sri Lanka take security precautions while traversing the passage of the Strait of Aden, which is “famous” for Somali pirates, and they disable their AIS so that the ship can not be identified.

It is noteworthy that on March 6, a large anti-submarine ship of the Pacific fleet, Admiral Vinogradov, arrived in Sri Lanka, following the previous route of the Akademik Cherskiy. At the port, the ship had to replenish its water and fuel supplies. It had planned to organize recreation and sightseeing tours of Colombo for the personnel, the press service of the Eastern military district for the Pacific fleet reported. It is also plausible their signal was disabled due to the pirates in the area. In this case, it is a risk management strategy to avoid unnecessary altercations.

One of the disadvantages of using the Akademik Cherskiy is that it still needs to be retrofitted, and the journey to the Baltic sea will take the ship several months. Apart from the pipe-laying Akademik Cherskiy, Fortuna and Defender, Gazprom may not have any other options for completing Nord stream 2. There are not many ships in the world equipped for laying gas pipeline and most companies do not want to find themselves in the cross hairs of the sanctions against Russia.

Clearly, Russia is continuing with the project despite the turmoil pertaining to the pipeline. It is also plausible to expect a stand off from ecologists from other nations,. The conflict over the pipeline will not stop.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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