The final piece of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is welded, and the undersea pipeline will start pumping in the next few days, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said according to Reuter.

Following Nord stream 2’s completion, the pipeline’s total capacity is set to double, allowing Russia to bypass Ukraine when piping gas to Europe.

Kyiv has opposed the project as it will deprive the country of billions in transit fees.

Construction of the pipeline began in 2018, before being brought to a standstill in December 2019 after the introduction of US sanctions against contractors of the project as the US administration  was not satisfied with the formulation of a more dependent relationship between Europe and Russia.