Igor Yushkov, a leading expert at the national energy security Foundation, explained the throwing and constant change of course of the Russian ship Akademik Chersky, which can complete the construction of the “Nord stream-2” gas pipeline, as a desire to avoid US sanctions. He told about it on the air of NSN.
In his opinion, in reality, the pipelayer, as planned, is heading to the Baltic Sea. However, the real destination is not specified so that the US regulator would not have grounds to bring the ship under sanctions in advance and block its passage through the Straits.
Currently, the final destination of the “Academician Chersky” is listed as Nakhodka, where it left in mid-February. At the same time, the ship decided not to enter the Suez Canal but preferred a much longer route with a detour around Africa.
As Yushkov noted, the pipe layer is continually moving towards the Baltic, and in a week, on the approach to Sweden, it can indicate the destination of Kaliningrad or St. Petersburg.
The expert added that there was no hurry for the ship since the work should start in the summer when there are fewer storms in the Baltic Sea. In this case, the boat will be less likely to fall under sanctions. Yushkov did not rule out that the necessary technical work on the pipe layer so that it could lay pipes of larger diameter, has already been carried out in Nakhodka.
According to ship tracking portals, the Akademik Chersky is located in the English Channel and is moving north. Before leaving in this direction, the vessel indicated the port of destination, as the Egyptian Port Said.
Earlier, Dmitry Marinchenko, senior Director of the natural resources and commodities group at Fitch, suggested that due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gazprom decided to temporarily abandon the completion of “Nord stream-2,” because the new gas pipeline is no longer a priority.