PRIMDA, Czech Republic (AP) — The Czech Republic has opened a pipeline that provides an alternate route for Russian gas imports and will help supply other parts of the EU.
Prime Minister Petr Necas opened the 10 billion koruna ($519 million) Gazelle project Monday.
The 166-kilometer (103-mile) pipeline is connected to Nord Stream, a pipeline that crosses the Baltic Sea and brings natural gas from Russia's Siberia. It was built by the pipeline operator Net4GaS.
Through the Czech Republic, the gas will flow on to southern Germany and France.
EU nations have been seeking new ways to secure gas supplies since Russian shipments transported through Ukrainian pipelines were cut off in January 2009 due to a dispute between the two countries.