The operator of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany said on Monday it had begun filling the pipeline with gas, Euractiv.com reports.
This is the latest step toward the completion of the Baltic Sea pipeline, while Europe faces an energy crisis with natural gas reserves at a low level and energy prices surging.
Nord Stream 2 has divided European countries and raised tensions between the bloc and Washington. The pipeline diverts supplies from an existing route through Ukraine. Ukraine has warned Europe that Nord Stream 2 could be used by Moscow to exert pressure.
The United States has reluctantly signed off on the project, but says it will sanction Moscow if the pipeline is used as a weapon.