( RIA Novosti ) - Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Monday it does not intend to review the timeframe for the Nord Stream pipeline being built under the Baltic Sea to pump Russian natural gas to Germany.
Baltic countries earlier voiced concerns over the pipeline project, and called for a detailed study of its environmental consequences.
"Environmental coordination with the Baltic countries is proceeding in a working regime. So far, there are no grounds to say the timeframe for the gas pipeline construction will be moved. We say that it will be put into operation in the second half of 2010," Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said.
The Finnish ambassador to Moscow said earlier in the month that Finland supports the Nord Stream pipeline, but will study its environmental consequences.
"Europe needs gas, but environmental issues are important for us because the Gulf of Finland is polluted, and toxic substances could surface from the seabed during the gas pipeline's construction," Harri Helenius said.
The ambitious pipeline project is being developed by Russia's state-controlled gas giant Gazprom and Germany's E.ON and BASF at an estimated cost of $12 billion.
The first of Nord Stream's two parallel pipelines, approximately 1,200 kilometers ( 750 miles) long, each 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.