The Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court on Wednesday dismissed a bid to sidestep European Union rules requiring gas producers to be legally separate from entities that transport the fuel.
This is a norm of the EU gas directive, which in Germany is governed by the relevant national law. The complaint was filed in relation to section 28b of the Federal Energy Economy Act. Theoretically, the possibility of exemption from regulation is provided for by the legislation of the Federal Republic of Germany, but applies only to gas pipelines that were completed before May 23, 2019. The Nord Stream 2 operator can appeal the court decision.
Ukraine Naftogaz CEO Yuriy Vitrenko commented on the loss of the pipeline operator on his Facebook page.
“Our strategy - to play by the same rules that the West lives by (and not by which some Western politicians and officials tell us to live) - is yielding results. Gazprom lost in the Stockholm arbitration. Now, trying to remove Nord Stream 2 from the European regulation, the so-called third energy package, Gazprom has also lost in German courts. And now our main battlefield will be just around the application of these European rules to all gas pipelines that connect Russia and Europe," Vitrenko wrote.
On July 21, the U.S. and Germany made a joint statement in support of Ukraine, European energy security, and climate goals on the results of the talks on prospects of the launch of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
On August 20, Biden administration imposed sanctions on two Russian entities over their involvement in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her visit to Ukraine said that Germany is ready to support sanctions against Nord Stream 2 if Russia starts using the pipeline as a weapon.