After many twists and turns, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Europe has been completed. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the news at the annual St Petersburg Economic Forum, noting that the actions of other nations, particularly the USA, to halt the project, were ultimately unsuccessful (though they did contribute to the project being delayed by more than two years). Gazprom, which led the construction project, was forced to modify a number of its ships to be able to lay subsea pipe after a number of European construction firms pulled out of the project under pressure from US sanctions. The involvement of European energy companies Shell, Wintershall, Engie, Uniper and OMV, and the support of the German government helped carry the project politically, and in the coming weeks the pipeline will begin to deliver gas.
US President Joe Biden dropped additional sanctions on the project last month, perhaps acknowledging the battle as one lost, or perhaps seeking to improve relations with Russia. The pipeline runs from Vyborg in north-west Russia through the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea to Greifswald in north-east Germany, bypassing the need to transport the gas through the lands of Eastern European countries such as Ukraine and Poland (meaning it was opposed by those countries). It remains to be seen if the USA will be competitive (or attractive for geopolitical or diversity of supply reasons) in its export of LNG to European countries.