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TIMELINE-Nord Stream 2: the difficult birth of Russia's gas link to Germany

Jan 27 (Reuters) - New U.S. President Joe Biden said his administration would review restrictions on the Nord Stream 2 (NS 2) gas pipeline project, a focal point of a wider discord between Moscow and Washington.

A bill passed during Donald Trump’s presidency imposed sanctions on companies involved with the nearly-completed pipeline to bring Russian gas into Europe via Germany, undermining previous gas transits via Ukraine.

Biden on Wednesday said he believed NS2 was a “bad deal for Europe”.

Led by Russia’s Gazprom with Western partners, the pipeline, which doubles the capacity of the existing Nord Stream 1 (NS 1) link has attracted opposition in the European Union.

The United States says NS 2 increases the EU’s reliance on Russia while NS 2 supporters say the United States is seeking to increase liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales to Europe.

The following are significant moments in Nord Stream 2’s development:

2011

November: Gazprom and Western partners look into expanding the pipeline system by a further 55 billion cubic metres at an estimated cost of 9.5 euros ($11.3 billion).

2015

June: Gazprom, Royal Dutch Shell, E.ON, OMV, Wintershall and ENGIE agree to build the pipeline. [reut.rs/3haWiiv ]

2016

March: Eight EU governments object citing geopolitical reasons. [reut.rs/2FfVPyF ]

2017

April: Financing agreements are signed.[reut.rs/2FgjZZZ ]

2018

January: Germany grants permits for construction and operation.

2019

January: The U.S. ambassador to Germany says companies could face sanctions. [bit.ly/2FhqaN3 ]

December: Swiss-Dutch company Allseas suspends pipe-laying.

Trump signs a defence policy bill including sanctions.

2020

January.: Russia targets a start in first quarter 2021. [reut.rs/2ZnOML8 ]

May: Germany’s energy regulator declines to grant a waiver of EU gas directives to the operators.

May: An EU court throws out a challenge to EU gas rules from the operators of NS 1 and NS 2.

Sept. 3: Pressure mounts on Berlin to reconsider support after the alleged nerve agent attack on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Sept. 15: Data shows a Russian ship sailed for the supply base in Germany.

Sept. 23: The world’s largest group of shipping insurers says it will not insure vessels involved in NS 2.

Oct. 1: Denmark gives NS 2 permission to operate in Danish waters.

Oct. 7: Poland fines Gazprom more than 29 billion zlotys having launched proceedings in June.

Nov. 4: Gazprom appeals in a Polish court against the fine.

Nov. 28: NS 2 says it plans to resume finishing a 2.6 km stretch in German waters.

Dec. 3: The United States unveils a bill targeting companies and individuals helping NS 2.

Dec. 11: NS 2 says the vessel Fortuna has resumed work.

Dec. 22: The Danish Maritime Authority issues notification of pipe-laying works from Jan. 15.

Dec. 24: The Kremlin says new U.S. sanctions could complicate the completion.

Dec. 28: NS 2 says it has completed the 2.6 km section in German waters.

2021

Jan 6: The northern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern decides to set up a foundation to help the completion of NS 2.

Jan 13: The U.S. State Department warns European companies of sanctions.

Jan 14/15: NS 2 says pipe-laying will resume in Germany on Jan. 15.

Uniper and Wintershall Dea say they did not receive any threats.

Jan 20: Trump on his last full day in office imposes sanctions on Fortuna.

Gazprom successfully places an 8-year Eurobond worth $2 billion suggesting investors see limited risks.

German environmental groups file complaints with maritime regulator BSH, effectively preventing further work in Germany for now.

Jan. 21: The European parliament passes a resolution calling for a stop to NS 2 completion in response to the arrest of Navalny in Russia.

Jan. 24: Fortuna resumes work in Danish waters. (Reporting by Tommy Lund and Bartosz Dabrowski in Gdansk Editing by Vera Eckert and Barbara Lewis)

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