London (CNN Business)An undersea pipeline set to deliver gas from Russia to Germany has become exactly what the two countries have always insisted it would never be: A weapon in a geopolitical crisis.
The United States, United Kingdom, Ukraine and several European Union member states have fiercely opposed the pipeline ever since it was first announced in 2015, warning the project would boost Moscow’s influence in Europe.
The 1,200-km (750-mile) pipeline was completed in September and is now awaiting final certification. But even though the pipeline isn’t operational yet, it has already acted as a huge wedge between the traditional allies at a time of huge tensions between Russia and the West.
According to experts, that on its own is a win for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Kristine Berzina, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a nonpartisan research center, said Moscow has benefited from the drama around the pipeline. “Everything about the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been a victory for Russia,” she told CNN.