Nord Stream (German–English mixed expression for "North Stream"; Russian: Северный поток, Severny potok) is a network of offshore natural gas pipelines which run under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany to provide Western Europe with natural gas. It comprises two separate projects, Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2. Both pipelines each comprise two pipes, NS1 A and B as well as NS2 A and B, for a total of 4 physical pipes. Both pipelines start in Russia and land in Lubmin, Germany. NordStream is owned by a consortium of 5 energy companies: Gazprom international projects North 1 LLC (Gazprom Group company), Wintershall Dea AG, PEG Infrastruktur AG (E.ON), N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie and ENGIE. It was the first pipeline that bypassed Ukraine and Poland to deliver Russian natural gas directly to West Europe.

Map of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines
Map of the proposed Nord Stream and connecting pipelines
  • Nord Stream 2 (NS2) runs from Ust-Luga in northwestern Russia near Estonia. The pipeline was built to increase gas exports towards Europe, aiming to double annual capacity. The project was completed in 2021, but did not enter service, because Germany withheld opening permission on February 22, 2022 due to Russia recognizing the Ukrainian separatist regions of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic as independent,[4] in line with a previous joint warning made with US president Joe Biden on February 7, 2022 to end the project if Russia were to invade Ukraine.[5]

The project Nord Stream 2 was opposed from the start by the United States,[6][7] primarily because it would increase German dependence on Russian energy. The United States later imposed sanctions on companies that were involved in the project.[8] The U.S. sanctions were criticized heavily by German politicians as "a serious interference in the internal affairs of Germany and Europe and their sovereignty".[9]

On 6 February 2022, speaking at a joint news conference with German chancellor Olaf Scholz, American president Joe Biden said "If Russia invades … Ukraine again, then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it." When asked how he would do that, he responded, "I promise you, we’ll be able to do it."[10]

A piece of Nord Stream pipe on public display in Kotka, Finland

2022 sabotage


On 26 September 2022, news broke of four explosions at the Nord Stream 1 and 2 natural gas pipelines, rendering three of the four lines inoperable.

Although none of the four Nord Stream pipelines were in operation, they still contained pressurized natural gas, of which vast quantities were released into the Baltic Sea.

See also



  1. ^ "Controversial Project Launched : Merkel and Medvedev Open Baltic Gas Pipeline". Der Spiegel. 2011-11-08. ISSN 2195-1349. Retrieved 2022-10-13.
  2. ^ Cooban, Anna (31 August 2022). "Russia cuts more gas supplies to Europe as inflation hits another record". CNN.
  3. ^ "Gazprom: Nord Stream 1 gas to stay shut until fault fixed, "workshop conditions needed"". Reuters. 2022-09-02.
  4. ^ "Germany freezes Nord Stream 2 gas project as Ukraine crisis deepens". 2022-02-22. Retrieved 2023-03-08.
  5. ^ "Biden vows to end German-Russian gas pipeline if Ukraine is invaded". 2022-02-07. Retrieved 2023-03-08.
  6. ^ Stephen Kinzer: When pipeline politics go boom, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, 28 October 2022
  7. ^ Attacke gegen Ex-Kanzler – US-Abgeordneter wirft Schröder „politische Prostitution“ vor., Süddeutsche Zeitung, 12 June 2007.
  8. ^ U.S. imposes further sanctions in connection with Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline
  9. ^ Germany "firmly rejects" U.S. sanctions on Nord Stream 2 firms
  10. ^ Shalal, Andrea (8 February 2022). "Biden pledges end to Nord Stream 2 if Russia invades Ukraine". Reuters. Retrieved 3 January 2024.