09:56 GMT21 January 2021
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    BERLIN (Sputnik) - Germany's Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) confirmed on Tuesday that its permit for laying the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in German waters is valid through December, and the request for January-April is being considered.

    "Operations have been approved for December. To continue operations in January-April, it is necessary to finish the procedure of coordinating amendments [to the general permit]," BSH spokeswoman Merle Mansfeld said.

    Mansfeld confirmed media reports saying that pipe-laying may be resumed on 5 December. The BSH spokeswoman also noted that Akademik Cherskiy vessel was expected to lay the pipes.

    Last week, Nord Stream 2 AG said that it was planning to resume laying pipelines for the Nord Stream 2 gas project this year.

    The Nord Stream 2 project was suspended after December 2019 when the US imposed sanctions against companies involved in constructing the pipeline. Washington targeted firms that provide services or funds to upgrade or install equipment on ships that lay the pipeline.

    Swiss pipe-laying company Allseas quit the project in fear of US sanctions. Russia then said it would finish the project on its own. Russia's energy giant Gazprom sent its Akademik Cherskiy pipe-layer to the Baltic Sea to finish the pipeline.

    When finished, the $10.5 billion project between Russia's Gazprom and several European energy concerns will double the annual 55 billion cubic metres capacity of the existing Nord Stream network and deliver Russian gas to Germany without any intermediaries.

    The US has been pressing Russia and Germany to abandon the Nord Stream 2 project, claiming that it harms its national interests and those of the European Union.

    Russia, watchdog, pipeline, Nord Stream 2, Germany
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