The Russian vessel tapped to finish the controversial “Nord Stream-2” gas pipeline has begun work in Danish waters just days after the United States sanctioned its parent company.

“The lay barge Fortuna has started works in the construction corridor in the Danish [Exclusive Economic Zone], ahead of the resumption of the “Nord Stream-2″ construction. All works are performed in line with relevant permits,” “Nord Stream-2” said in a statement on January 24.

Fortuna will seek to build the remaining 150 kilometers of pipeline, including 120 kilometers in Danish waters and 30 kilometers in German waters, needed to complete the project. “Nord Stream-2” is controlled by the Russian state-owned natural-gas company Gazprom.

The United States on January 19 sanctioned KVT-RUS, the owner of the Fortuna, in its latest move to stop the completion of the pipeline. The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. government and several EU members say the project, which will carry Russian natural gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea, will strengthen Moscow’s energy hold on Europe and undercut Ukraine’s role as a transit country.

The pipeline, designed to double the capacity of the existing undersea Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, has been a point of contention between Berlin and Washington.

Source – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty