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EU adopts directive on access to Nord Stream 2 capacities

The directive should be adopted by the Council of the European Union and will come into force in 20 days after publication in the official journal of the EU
19:25, 4 April 2019

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The European Parliament has adopted the renewed gas directive (EU law), which spreads the rules of the gas market of the EU on the pipelines laid from the non-EU countries, including Nord Stream 2, which links Russia and Germany. Interfax news agency reports this.

“It is the end of the monopoly era at the European gas market, the monopoly, which threats by increased prices or turns off the faucet,” MEP Jerzy Buzek said.

Related: U.S. Vice President criticizes Germany for NATO expenses, Nord Stream 2

The division of the companies-suppliers of the gas and companies which transport it; the access of other operators to the pipe, transparent regulation of the tariffs from Gazprom, 50% of its capacity should be reserved for the alternative suppliers are among the main conditions. The exclusions are possible but only after approval of the European Commission.

“The supplies of the gas were very often used as the political weapon. We cannot “disarm” unclean designs of others but we can arm with legal clarity.”

Related: Trump's administration opposes implementation of Nord Stream II, - U.S. Secretary of Energy

According to the agency, Russia was the main supplier of the gas to the EU (47%), Norway was the second (34%), then Algeria and Libya came (8,6% together). The main route of the Russian gas supply was along Ukraine (almost the half of the volume), the gas pipeline from Yamal to Belarus (about 20%) and Nord Stream 1 (30%). 89% of the gas is imported to the EU through the pipelines and another part is supplied at the vessels as liquefied gas.

As we reported, the Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union (COPERER) has approved the draft amendments to the gas legislation of the EU.

Related: U.S. to impose sanctions against EU companies tied with Nord Stream 2 financing

Earlier, Polish President Andrzej Duda urged the German government to give up on Nord Stream 2 construction. He insisted that the new pipeline would breach the current energy balance, posing danger to the energy safety of some countries in Central and Eastern Europe. 

Russian president Putin claimed that the Russian Federation was ready to save the gas transit through Ukraine after the launch of the Nord Stream 2.

Related: European involvement with Nord Stream 2 is a deal with the devil

Gazprom and its partners intended to begin the realization of the Nord Stream 2 project, which costs ten billion dollars. It is expected that the 1,200-km gas pipeline will be laid through the Baltic Sea, and will connect Russia and Germany bypassing Ukraine, Poland, and Baltic countries. The capacity of the gas pipeline will be twice increased compared to that of the first Nord Stream. The construction is estimated to be completed by the end of 2019.

Ukraine is adamantly opposed to the construction by calling it politically motivated and suggesting the EU to create a consortium with the involvement of European companies to manage the existing more efficient transportation route through Ukraine. A number of EU countries have expressed their disagreement with the Nord Stream 2 project in particular Poland and Lithuania.

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