BERNE, Sept 13 (Reuters) - The second line of the Nord Stream gas pipeline linking Russia and Germany will become operational in early October, the chairman of the shareholders' committee and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Thursday.
"It (the second line) will be running from the seventh or eight of October and the Russian President (Vladimir Putin) will be present," said Schroeder, speaking through a translator at an energy conference in Berne, Switzerland.
The first leg of the pipeline was launched in November 2011 and runs along the Baltic Sea bed. It has an annual capacity of 27.5 billion cubic meters.
Russia's gas export monopolist Gazprom built Nord Stream to reduce its reliance on pumping gas through Ukraine, where disputes over transit fees have led to gas supply interruptions to Europe in the past. (Reporting by Emma Farge; Writing by Henning Gloystein in London; Editing by David Holmes)