German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday turned the tap of the Baltic pipeline which connects the Western Europe and one of the world's most abundant natural gas fields in Siberia.
"When we talk of security of supply, we must think of diversification,"said Merkel at the inauguration ceremony.
Medvedev spoke highly of the pipeline, referring to it as an important step to "strengthen relations with the EU and Germany," despite that fact that the project still remained largely controversial.
"This pipeline will allow us to provide the Western European consumers reliably and at an acceptable, reasonable price," Medvedev said at the beginning of the installation work.
The project of the Baltic Pipeline has been enthusiastically acclaimed by the Russian media, which draw the historical comparisons with Peter the Great, who founded the city of St. Petersburg to open up a window to the west.
The Nord Stream pipelne, which runs 1,224 kilometers, has been proceeding on smoothly in a record 16 months, while the work on the second section of the pipeline has been put on schedule.