With over 2000 km of subsea pipeline laid for Nordstream 2 Gazprom and its European partners are ratcheting up the pressure on Denmark to grant access for the pipeline through its exclusive economic zone. This route would save the project significant time and money. Still it is by no means certain the Danes will go along.
"If they don't approve it... we will go around Denmark's economic zone," Gazprom chairman Viktor Zubkov said at a Moscow energy forum, quoted by TASS news agency.
Yet circumventing Denmark's exclusive economic zone would bring the project's economics into question. In most cases such a move would not augur well for the project's completion.
The United States has been a vociferous opponent of a second Nordstream, suggesting that it would make Europe overly dependent on gas supplies from Russia and thus vulnerable to political pressure from the Kremlin. US President Donald Trump, for example, has threatened to hit Nord Stream 2 and those tied to it with sanctions, saying it makes Germany "a hostage to Russia."
The next few weeks will be critical in determining the pipeline's future. For its part, Gazprom appears unconcerned and said if the Danes do not cooperate in opening up their economic zone to the pipeline Gazprom will find neutral zones to put Nordstream into.