The Nord Stream 2 project designed to deliver Russian natural gas to Germany and other European customers will start working in the middle of next year, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said on Thursday.

He gave no other details about the exact date of the pipeline’s launch. Earlier, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters that gas deliveries via the undersea pipeline could start in the coming months.

The offshore and land sections of the pipeline were connected on the German side last year. The project only needed approval from Danish authorities. Other countries on the route of the pipeline – Russia, Finland, Sweden and Germany – have long-since approved it.

In October, Copenhagen finally gave the green light for the pipeline to pass through its territorial waters.

Nord Stream 2, which runs from the Russian Baltic coast to Germany, will deliver 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year to European customers. The Russia-led project has been repeatedly criticized by the US as Washington wants to boost sales of American liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe.

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