Putin hopes for Nord Stream 2 completion by early 2021

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Russian President Vladimir Putin | Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP via Getty Images

US sanctions on the project had delayed work on the pipeline.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he hopes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project will be completed by the end of 2020 or early 2021.

In December, U.S. President Donald Trump approved sanctions on companies involved in the project, delaying construction of the pipeline with one company suspending work to avoid being penalized.

“We, of course, would be able to finish construction on our own and without involving foreign partners,” Putin said, speaking at a press conference after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Moscow.

The project, which will deliver gas from Russia directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea, is controversial. Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Saturday described Nord Stream 2 as a “step in the wrong direction.”

Merkel, however, defended the pipeline and criticized U.S. “extraterritorial sanctions.”

Speaking at the press conference, she said: “I believe that this project is legitimized by new European regulation and that we therefore should complete it.”

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