Putin presided over the filling of the pipeline with technical gas which is supposed to fill the pipeline before it starts pumping 27.5 billion cubic meters of gas to Germany, Britain, the Netherlands, France, Denmark and other European states at the start of October.
Putin said the launch of the Nord Stream would deprive Ukraine of its exclusive gas transit rights.
"Ukraine is our old and traditional partner. As any transit country it has the temptation to benefit from its transit position. Now this exclusive right is disappearing. Our relations will become more civilized," Putin told journalists, RIA Novosti reported.
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