Gas giant Gazprom on Monday began building the first section of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline in Russian territorial waters, Polish state news agency PAP has reported.
The first 100 km of the Russian section of the link is to be finished in a month, Nord Stream AG, the operator of the pipeline, said in a statement cited by PAP.
The off-shore gas pipeline is to run through the territorial waters of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Denmark has still not approved the construction of the pipeline.
The 1,200-kilometre link, scheduled for completion in 2019, is expected to 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’s government opposes the planned pipeline.
Polish President Andrzej Duda said in October that the construction of the link despite a lack of approval from all EU members showed a lack of solidarity within the bloc.
Duda added that the pipeline would threaten the energy security of Central and Eastern Europe and would result in one supplier dominating the European Union market.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last May that Nord Stream 2 was “a new hybrid weapon” aimed at the European Union and NATO.