Celebrations were held today at a gas metering station near the town of Greifswald (Germany). The celebrations were dedicated to the commissioning of the first string of the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

Taking part in the celebrations were Dmitry Medvedev, Russian President, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, Francois Fillon, French Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime Minister, Erwin Sellering, Minister President of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Guenther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy, Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Management Committee, Gazprom, Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF SE, Johannes Teyssen, Chairman of the Board of Management and CEO, E.ON AG, Klaus Schaefer, Chairman of the Board of Management, E.ON Ruhrgas AG, Gerard Mestrallet, Chairman of the Board and CEO, GDF SUEZ, Paul van Gelder, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO, Gasunie, Gerhard Schroeder, Chairman of the Shareholders' Committee, Nord Stream AG , Matthias Warnig, Managing Director, Nord Stream AG.

“Together with our partners we have successfully made a unique Nord Stream pipeline, which has no analogs in the world. For the first time the Russian and European gas transmission systems are connected directly. Russia, Germany, France and the Netherlands today started commercial deliveries of Russian natural gas through Nord Stream and together guarantee long-term energy security of Europe. Today we start not just the first thread of one of gas pipelines – we open a new export gas-transport corridor,” said Alexey Miller.

“Nord Stream connects the major Russian reserves in Siberia directly with the internal European market and gives Europe's households and industry secure access to important energy resources in the global race for raw materials. For this reason, BASF has been committed to Nord Stream from the early stages as one of the first partners of Gazprom and is also heavily involved in the two connecting pipelines OPAL and NEL. Both these pipelines are central elements of the Nord Stream project and connect the Baltic Sea pipeline with the European natural gas network. Overall, the realization of the project strengthens the energy partnership between Russia and Europe and contributes to a long-term, secure supply of energy,” said Kurt Bock.

“Nord Stream is delivering a highly effective solution to the challenge of securing an uninterrupted flow of vast amounts of gas from the world's largest reserves to the world's largest market for gas, Europe, for many decades.

It is an important achievement for GDF SUEZ and for our millions of industrial, commercial and private customers.

It contributes to security of supply not only through diversification of energy sources but also by diversification of transmission routes,” said Gerard Mestrallet.

“Nord Stream brings together the interests of energy suppliers and customers, and does so in a mutually beneficial and efficient way. Energy security and stability are overriding goals for both suppliers and consumers. Nord Stream is a long-term solution to the challenges faced by a major gas supplier and its partners and customers.

Natural gas will play a decisive role in the development towards a sustainable energy supply in Europe over the coming decades by balancing economic viability, climate protection and security of supply in a very efficient way.

Diversification means not only procuring gas from various sources but also having various supply routes. Nord Stream establishes the first direct link for Germany and Europe with the largest gas fields in Russia and thus offers the potential of new supply volumes,” said Klaus Schaefer.

“Nord Stream is not only a highly important extra link between the European market and Russia's vast gas reserves, but also an excellent example of successful international cooperation.
Alexander Medvedev answers reporters’ questions during the celebrations dedicated to the commissioning of the first string of the Nord Stream gas pipeline

Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee – Director General of Gazprom export answers reporters’ questions
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Nord Stream will play an important part in supporting the pivotal role of gas as part of the future low-carbon economy in Europe. We consider Nord Stream to be a crucial component of the gas roundabout of North-West Europe,” said Paul van Gelder.

Nord Stream is a fundamentally new route for Russian gas export to Europe. Running across the Baltic Sea waters from the Portovaya Bay (near Vyborg) to the German coast (near Greifswald) the gas pipeline will stretch over 1,200 kilometers. The gas pipeline capacity will be 55 billion cubic meters per year.

The Nord Stream project is being implemented by Nord Stream AG, the joint venture set up for planning, construction and subsequent operation of the offshore gas pipeline. Stakes in Nord Stream AG are currently distributed as follows: Gazprom holds 51 per cent, Wintershall Holding and E.ON Ruhrgas – 15.5 per cent each, Gasunie and GDF Suez – 9 per cent each.

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