German authorities gave given the green light to resume a subsea natural gas pipeline from Russia.
The decision by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency can be appealed, meaning there could be another halt to the construction on the Nord Stream 2 project, which has drawn criticism from the US and environmental groups.
The US government has argued that the Baltic Sea pipeline would make Europe more dependent on Russian gas and hurt European energy security, AP News reported.
The pipeline project was also opposed by the administration of President Barack Obama, and German officials have said they do not expect significant changes in US policy when President-elect Joe Biden takes over.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he expected high-level talks with the incoming administration about the possibility of new US sanctions on companies involved in the pipeline project.
Maas added that he did not know whether the companies involved in building the pipeline had plans to immediately resume work following the Maritime and Hydrographic Agency's ruling.
Russian state-controlled natural gas company Gazprom has positioned a ship to resume work on the pipeline, which was suspended after a Swiss firm pulled its vessels out of the project amid threats US sanctions.
Gazprom said 6% of the pipeline, or about 150 kilometers, remains to be completed.
The company, which is wholly owned by Gazprom, declined to say exactly when construction would resume.
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