Nord Stream 2, the controversial Russian natural-gas pipeline project, has received the last permission it needs to close the distance between the Leningrad Region and the Baltic coast of Germany. It’s now probably too late for the US to prevent Russia from finishing the project by the end of 2019.

Nord Stream 2 is part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan to send natural gas to Europe without needing to go through Ukraine. The new pipeline will be able to carry 55-billion cubic metres of natural gas, more than half of what Russia now pumps through the Ukrainian system, and would mean for Ukraine a loss of $3bn a year in gas transit revenues...

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