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Nord Stream gas project serves Europe’s energy interests – Medvedev

The Nord Stream pipeline being built under the Baltic Sea to pump natural gas directly from Russia to Germany serves the interests of European energy security, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday.

Medvedev arrived in Germany on Thursday on his first European trip since his inauguration as Russian president. “This project serves equally the interests of reliable energy supplies and energy security for all the countries on the European continent,” Medvedev said after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Russian energy giant Gazprom is building the Nord Stream pipeline together with Germany’s E.ON at an estimated cost of $12 billion.

The first of Nord Stream’s two parallel pipelines, approximately 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) long, with a transport capacity of some 27.5 billion cubic meters per year, is to become operational in 2010. In the second phase, capacity should double to about 55 billion cubic meters per year. Medvedev said that he had also discussed the South Stream gas pipeline project with the German chancellor. The South Stream project is expected to transport 10 billion cubic meters of Russian gas annually across the Black Sea to the Balkans and onto other European countries, with the first deliveries scheduled to start in 2013. Medvedev said that the Nord and South Stream projects would be completed on schedule. (