President Vladimir Putin says the Russian natural gas pipeline to Germany, Nord Stream 2, is almost finished and will serve European national interests, allowing the continent to buy cheaper Russian gas.

“Nord Stream 2 is beyond all doubt, it is absolutely obvious… a beneficial [project] for the economy of Europe in general and for Germany in particular,” the Russian leader said during his annual conference on Thursday.

The Russian president pointed out that the alternative energy resource for Europe is liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US, but it costs around 20 percent more that Russian pipeline gas. That could hike prices for households and make Germany’s economy less competitive, said Putin.

The Russian leader added that the project’s construction is almost complete, with only about 160 kilometers of pipeline still needed to be laid in the Baltic Sea.

“I hope that the new [US] administration will treat its partners and allies with respect and would not insist that they neglect their national interests,” Putin said.

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