Work on the German section of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is now under way in the German town of Lubmin on the Baltic coast, public broadcaster Polish Radio has reported, citing Germany’s DPA news agency.
Builders have started digging up the ground and laying the foundations for a terminal that will receive gas via the controversial pipeline, according to Polish Radio’s IAR news agency.
Germany’s maritime authority in March approved the project, making Germany the first country to have issued all the necessary permits for the pipeline to be built within its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone.
"We are moving within the framework of the planning approval decision," a spokesman for Gazprom, the Russian gas giant behind the project, has said, as quoted by the DPA agency.
Work to build the pipeline has begun even though Gazprom does not yet have the full set of permits for the project, according to the IAR news agency.
Other countries along the route of the planned undersea gas pipeline, among them Sweden and Denmark, have yet to approve the planned link.
In early April, the Finnish government gave the go-ahead to the construction of the undersea pipeline through Finland's economic zone.
If completed, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would supply around 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, circumventing Poland, the Baltic states and Ukraine.
Poland, the Baltic states and Ukraine all oppose the project.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was cited as saying in mid-February that the planned pipeline was “unnecessary, detrimental and divisive.”
Polish President Andrzej Duda has also criticised Nord Stream 2.
The US State Department spokeswoman said in March that the US government opposed Nord Stream 2 as the project would undermine Europe’s energy security and stability.
Heather Nauert said at a department press briefing that companies engaged in the construction and financing of the pipeline “could expose themselves to sanctions” under US law.
Source: Polish Radio, IAR