"Dynamically positioned pipelay vessel Pioneering Spirit has joined Nord Stream 2’s construction fleet and started pipelay works in the Finnish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) last night. She will continue installation of the natural gas pipeline following pipelay vessel Solitaire, which started construction in Finland in September", the company said in a statement, published on its official website.
The Solitaire vessel, in turn, will now move to the southern part of Sweden's exclusive economic zone, where it will be laying a 510-kilometre (317 miles) long section of the pipeline.
"The Nord Stream 2 project is proceeding according to plan and on schedule… Pipelay vessel Audacia finished its work in German waters yesterday [on Saturday]. Already approximately 370 kilometres of the pipeline have been laid so far", the company added.
The pipelines are set to cross the territorial waters and exclusive economic zones of Russia, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Germany. Denmark remains the only country which is yet to give its consent for the construction. Nord Stream 2 is expected to be put into operation by the end of 2019.
The United States oppose the Russian project, calling on Germany to "heed the concerns of the many neighbours" as the construction of the pipeline would allegedly threaten their security. Prior to that, Washington repeatedly urged all countries concerned to withdraw from the Nord Stream 2 project.
The project has also been facing fierce opposition on the part of a number of countries, notably, Ukraine, which is afraid of losing its revenues from the transit of Russian gas to Europe.
Reacting to this, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that the United States was trying to prevent the realization of this project "using all permissible and not permissible methods that are nothing more than a camouflaged dishonest competition".