Nord Stream-2 Non-Compliant with Energy Union?

The official representative of the European Commission Anna-Kaisa Itkonen has said the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline contradicts the principles of the Energy Union created by the European Union.

"If Nord Stream-2 is implemented, it must be in full compliance with international and European norms. We have repeatedly voiced our position on the project and we believe that it does not comply with the principles of the Energy Union," she said.

Yet, she added, the situation can “still be corrected if we sit down at the negotiating table”.

What she did not say was at what stage of development the discussion in the EU Council is of the requested mandate by the European Commission to negotiate with Russia on the implementation of the project. She merely noted that the issue is “within the competence of the EU Council” to solve.

The legal service of the EU Council recently concluded that the EC's claims about the construction of Nord Stream-2 gas are legally null and void, since the project does not contradict EU legislation. Moreover, it was concluded that, on the contrary, the new gas pipeline could reduce the risks that may arise in the event of another "gas war" between Russia and Ukraine. However, some EU countries say that the findings of the legal services of the EU Council are the result of payment from Russia’s Gazprom.

There are also rumors that countries dissatisfied with the Nord Stream 2 project are to initiate a change in the EU legislation; more precisely, they want to amend the Third Energy Package so that it becomes possible not to discuss the terms of gas supplies with Gazprom at all. Currently, the project is fully consistent with this notorious "package".

For changes to the EU law to be made, however, it is necessary for all countries to vote unanimously in favor. The construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline is actively supported by Germany, which can veto the initiative of European bureaucrats. Germany, which has not offered any sympathy for Russia, firmly believes that the project is economic, not political.

Dimitri Dolaberidze

09 October 2017 16:12