Russian pipe-laying ship the Akademik Cherskiy has arrived near the German port of Mukran in the vicinity of the city of Sassnitz, a logistics centre for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, data from the ship monitoring service Marine Traffic indicates. It's anchored in the bay along with another Russian vessel, the Pipelay Crane Fortuna, which is docked in Mukran.
While the ship's owner, Gazprom, has not yet revealed the purpose of the vessel's arrival, it might be used in the construction of the last part of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Earlier, the possibility of using Russian vessels for this was mulled over by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.
Nord Stream 2 Issues
The Russian pipeline has faced several difficulties recently, with one of them being the decision of Swiss contractor Allseas to withdraw its pipe-laying ship and refuse to finish work on the pipeline. The move came soon after the US introduced sanctions against Nord Stream 2 in an attempt to force Russia out of Europe's energy market, despite protests from Washington's European allies, such as Germany.
The pipeline was also unable to receive permission from Denmark to lay pipes through its waters for a long period of time in 2019, while the operator, Nord Stream 2 AG is currently fighting to avoid falling under the provisions of the EU's Third Energy Package regulations. The latter would force the company to give up half of the pipeline's capacity to other gas companies, or hand over control of the pipeline to an independent firm while preserving ownership.