EU to propose legal changes to hit contested Russia-Germany pipeline: report
PR dla Zagranicy
The European Commission is set to propose new regulations that could hit and possibly derail Nord Stream 2, a controversial planned gas pipeline from Russia to Germany that would bypass Poland and other countries in its region, according to reports.
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The legal changes due to be unveiled by the European Union’s executive arm may prevent this contested project from being carried out, Polish Radio reported on Wednesday.
The public broadcaster said it had seen the proposal, which was expected to be released in Brussels later on Wednesday.
The proposed new rules would apply to all pipelines to and from non-EU countries, including existing pipelines and future ones, Polish Radio said, citing the European Commission’s blueprint.
While the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is not named in the document, there is no doubt that the changes are being introduced with this specific project in mind, Polish Radio said.
The European Commission aims to amend the bloc’s gas directive, a proposed change as a result of which the entire Nord Stream 2 pipeline, including the part of it that would run under the Baltic Sea, would explicitly be subject to EU law, according to Polish Radio.
This would render the construction of the pipeline unprofitable, the broadcaster said, because Russian gas giant Gazprom would have to guarantee access to the pipeline to other companies interested in transmitting gas, and its own deliveries could be reduced by up to half.
The European Commission’s proposal has yet to win the support of most member states as well as the European Parliament, Polish Radio said.
Last week, a Polish deputy foreign minister said in Washington that a new US law offered a chance to torpedo the Nord Stream 2 project.
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 all oppose the project.
Source: Polish Radio