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EU proposes rules that could hit contested pipeline

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 08.11.2017 14:40
The European Union’s executive arm on Wednesday unveiled proposals for changes to the bloc’s Gas Directive which reports suggest could scupper plans for a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.
Photo: Robzor/pixabay.com/CC0 Creative CommonsPhoto: Robzor/pixabay.com/CC0 Creative Commons

Under the amendment proposed by the European Commission, the entire Nord Stream 2 pipeline, including the part that would run under the Baltic Sea, would explicitly be subject to EU law, according to Polish Radio.

The new regulations could hit and possibly derail the controversial pipeline, which would carry gas from Russia to Germany while bypassing Poland and other countries in its region, the Polish public broadcaster has said.

The European Commission said on Wednesday that the “aim of the amendment is to complete the existing Gas Directive and clarify that the core principles of EU energy legislation (third-party access, tariff regulation, ownership unbundling and transparency) will apply to all gas pipelines to and from third countries up to the border of the EU's jurisdiction.”

This is designed to “ensure that all major pipelines entering the EU territory comply with EU rules, are operated under the same degree of transparency, are accessible to other operators and are operated efficiently,” the Commission added in a statement.

Once the amendment is adopted by the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, these changes will “constitute a significant step towards the completion of the Energy Union,” the Commission also said.

Specifically referring to the Nord Stream 2 project, the Commission said on its website that “pipelines in the EU area must be built and operated in accordance with all applicable legislation. Nord Stream 2 cannot happen in legal void or exclusively according to the law of a third country. If built, this pipeline would need a legal framework that takes into account the key principles of EU energy market rules.”

According to Poland’s PAP news agency, the European Commission proposal means that Russian gas giant Gazprom would have to allow other companies interested in transmitting gas to use Nord Stream 2. This could make the project less profitable for Gazprom, the agency said.

If built, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would supply around 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, circumventing Poland, the Baltic states and Ukraine.

Poland, the Baltic states and Ukraine oppose the project.

(gs/pk)

Source: PAP

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