The pipe laying vessel Akademik Cherskiy, owned by Gazprom's subsidiary (Gazprom Fleet LLC), changed its course again and is heading to the port of Nakhodka. Now the pipe-layer is passing the English Channel, according to data from the ship tracking websites Myshiptracking and Vesselfinder. The estimated time of the vessel's arrival at the port is July 1.
The vessel Akademik Cherskiy, which, according to Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, can complete the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, left the port of Nakhodka in the Far East in early February and headed for Singapore. The pipe-layer did not enter the port, however, and headed further to Colombo.
In early March, the ship changed course to Suez in Egypt, where it was due to arrive on March 25. As of March 17, Academician Cherskiy was at the northern tip of Madagascar and was moving towards Mozambique. On 20 April, the ship changed its route again and headed to Port Said in Egypt.
At the end of 2019, the United States imposed sanctions on Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream contractors. As a result, Gazprom's main contractor, the Swiss company AllSeas, suspended operations in Denmark and withdrew all its vessels that were involved in the construction of the pipeline.
Gazprom announced in mid-February that the pipeline would be launched in late 2020. President Vladimir Putin also said that Nord Stream 2 will be operational by this time or early next year. According to him, despite the sanctions, the project will be completed even without the involvement of partners.