Russia is extending a gas pipeline that bypasses Ukraine

Putin merkelREUTERS/Host Photo Agency/RIA NovostiRussian President Vladimir Putin (L) welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel as they arrive to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin walls in Moscow, Russia, May 10, 2015. Tanks and troops paraded across Moscow’s Red Square on May 9 to mark the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany, an event boycotted by Western leaders over Russia’s role in the Ukraine crisis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel skipped the parade, as did U.S. President Barack Obama and the French and British leaders, but attended a wreath-laying ceremony in Moscow on Sunday.

Russia is reportedly planning to build a gas pipeline to Germany.

Gazprom announced on Thursday that it plans to build a pipeline with a capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea with E.ON, Shell, and OMV, according to Kommersant.

The planned pipeline’s route will be an extension to the Nord Stream, Gazprom’s representative Sergey Kupriyanov told journalists, adding to the direct route that supplies Russian gas directly to Western Europe.

Russia, which supplies Europe with about 1/3 of its gas, has been actively seeking new ways to bring gas to Europe by circumventing Ukraine.

The project is designed to bypass Ukraine, which would allow Russia to both maintain its gas leverage over the EU and hurt Kiev.

In 2014, “Gazprom” has exported 191.5 billion cubic meters of gas, 12% less than in 2013, according to Lenta.Ru.

In other Russian gas news, the Turkish Stream’s construction through the Black Sea is set to begin in June-July 2015, according to TASS.

“It is expected that the Turkish-Greek border will create a gas hub and EU countries will build their own infrastructure for receiving fuel on its territory,” according to Lenta.Ru.

Russia gas pipelineReutersMap of Europe showing planned gas pipelines in the region. Includes proposed Gazprom pipeline to Europe through Turkey.

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