By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says that a new pipeline to Germany has been fully filled with natural gas. Putin noted that it could help quickly reduce soaring European energy prices. The $11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline is currently awaiting approval from Germany and the European Union. Officials warned that a decision won’t come in the first half of 2022. The first of its two links was filled with gas in October. Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom natural gas company reported Wednesday that it had completed filling the second one to make it fully ready for operation. Putin pointed at surging energy prices in Europe. He added that Nord Stream 2 could help quickly stabilize the continent’s nervous energy markets.