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Nord Stream 2: Russia's legal battle to boost gas supplies to Germany

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·5-min read
FILE PHOTO: Nord Stream 2 land fall facility in Lubmin
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(Reuters) - Germany's energy regulator said on Tuesday that certification for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was suspended. The energy regulator said that the Swiss-based consortium is required to form a company under German law to get a licence.

Here are some significant events in Nord Stream 2's development (in chronological order):

2011

November: Gazprom and Western partners look into expanding the Nord Stream pipeline system by a further 55 billion cubic metres at an initial estimated cost of 9.5 billion euros ($11.3 billion).

2015

June: Gazprom, Royal Dutch Shell, E.ON, OMV, Wintershall and Engie agree to build the pipeline.

2016

March: Eight EU governments object on geopolitical grounds.

2017April: Financing agreements are signed.

2018

January: Germany grants permits for construction and operation.

2019

January: The U.S. ambassador to Germany says companies involved in NS 2 could face sanctions.

December: Swiss-Dutch company Allseas suspends pipe-laying.

U.S. President Donald Trump signs a defence policy bill including sanctions.

2020

May: Germany's energy regulator declines to grant a waiver of EU gas directives to the operators, while an EU court also throws out a challenge to the rules.

Sept. 3: Pressure mounts on Berlin to reconsider support after the alleged nerve agent attack on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-politics-navalny-germany-nord-idUSKBN25U0UF

Sept. 23: The world's largest group of shipping insurers https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-usa-energy-insurance-idUSKCN26E1EM says it will not insure vessels involved in NS 2.

Oct. 1: Denmark gives NS 2 permission to operate in Danish waters.

Dec. 3: The United States https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-defense-congress-nord-stream-idUSKBN28E31I unveils a bill targeting companies and individuals helping NS 2.

Dec. 28: NS 2 says it has completed the 2.6 km section in German waters https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/nord-stream-2-gas-pipeline-says-has-completed-section-german-waters-2020-12-28.

2021

Jan 20: Trump on his last full day in office imposes sanctions https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-nordstream-sanctions-idAFL1N2JU1FQ on Russian pipe-laying ship Fortuna.

German environmental groups file complaints with maritime regulator BSH https://www.reuters.com/article/germany-nordstream-idAFL8N2JW3EY, effectively preventing further work in Germany.

Jan. 21: The European parliament passes a resolution calling for a stop to NS 2 completion in response to the arrest of Navalny in Russia.

Jan. 24: Fortuna resumes work in Danish waters https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-nordstream2-gas-vessel-idUSKBN29T0N6.

April 22: The U.S. Senate https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-senate-panel-advances-bill-aid-ukraine-pressure-nord-stream-2-2021-04-21 Foreign Relations Committee advances a bill to pressure companies helping to build NS 2.

May 19: The U.S. State Department waives sanctions https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/us-waive-sanctions-firm-ceo-behind-russias-nord-stream-2-pipeline-source-2021-05-19 around participants of Nord Stream 2, saying it was in the U.S. national interest.

June 4: President Vladimir Putin says Russia has finished laying the first line of the pipeline to Germany.

June 7: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says completion of Nord Stream 2 is a "fait accompli", https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-diplomacy-nord-stream-2-idAFL2N2NP1P4 defending the U.S. decision to waive some sanctions and vowing a response if Moscow tries to use gas as a weapon.

June 10: Nord Stream 2 says the project will start preparations to fill the first of two pipelines with natural gas within a few months.

July 22: The United States and Germany announce an agreement https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-germany-nord-stream-2-idAFL1N2OX1W6 on NS 2 under which Berlin also pledged to respond to any attempt by Russia to use energy as a weapon against Ukraine and other Central and Eastern European countries.

July 28: The pipeline operator says NS 2 is 99% complete.

Aug 20: The Biden administration https://www.reuters.com/world/us-issues-nord-stream-2-related-sanctions-russians-blinken-2021-08-20 imposes sanctions on a Russian ship and two companies involved in the pipeline.

Putin says there are 15 km (9 miles) left to finish NS 2.

Aug 25: Duesseldorf https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/german-court-dismisses-challenge-nord-stream-2-pipeline-consortium-2021-08-25 Higher Regional Court rules that Nord Stream 2 is not exempt from European Union rules that require the owners of pipelines to be different from the suppliers of the gas that flows in them to ensure fair competition.

Sept 6: Russian pipelaying vessel the Fortuna welds the final piece of pipe into place.

Sept 10: Gazprom says it has completed the construction of the pipeline from Russia to Germany.

Sept 13: Germany's energy regulator said it had four months to complete certification of the Nord Stream 2.

Oct 4: Nord Stream 2 has started filling one of its two pipelines with natural gas for tests, the pipeline operator said.

Oct 5: Nord Stream 2 said it has appealed a court decision that confirmed the pipeline will not be exempt from EU rules that require the owners of pipelines to be different from the gas suppliers.

Oct 6: An adviser https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/eu-court-adviser-says-nord-stream-2-can-challenge-eu-rules-2021-10-06 to the EU's top court said Gazprom's Swiss unit could challenge an EU gas rule that requires gas producers to be separate companies from those that control the pipeline.

Oct 18: NS 2 said the first of the project's two lines had been filled with "technical gas", in other words preliminary gas flows to prepare for full-scale operation.

Oct 21: President Vladimir Putin said Russia could start supplies of natural gas to Europe via the NS 2 pipeline as soon as it gets the green light from Germany.

Nov 15: Germany's energy regulator said Ukrainian gas companies Naftogaz and GTSOU were given notice that they would be included in the ongoing German certification procedures.

Nov 16: Germany's energy regulator said the certification process for NS 2 was suspended.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund and Bartosz Dabrowski in Gdansk; editing by David Evans, Jason Neely and Barbara Lewis)

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