Europe is planning to extend the existing legislation, which regulates issues pertaining to the transmission of gas from third countries to the European Union, in order to gain control over Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.
SANTA CRUZ DE LA SIERRA (Sputnik) — Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has called into question potential changes to the EU Gas Directive, when asked on the sidelines of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in Bolivia if Moscow would discuss adapting Nord Stream 2 to the Third Energy Package if the proposed amendment to document to allow third-party access to pipelines is approved.
“I’m not sure such legislation has the right to exist. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor this process and deal with it legally. Currently, the gas pipeline is a commercial project organized by commercial companies. It complies with all present requirements of European legislation, so there is no need to amend it,” Novak said.
“The gas is Russian, to whom allow [access] to it? It’s all aimed at allowing someone to buy it cheaper, and sell it and make a profit. Who will need it?” he added.
Previously, the European Commission proposed amending the EU Gas Directive, which could extend certain rules to future offshore sections of gas pipelines and allow third-party access to the pipelines. At the moment, the Third Energy Package, to which the EU Gas Directive belongs and which is comprised of a number of rules for the European Union’s internal market, does not apply to offshore sections of gas pipelines.
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The idea was criticized by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who said that the proposal was aimed at pressuring Russia to give up on Nord Stream 2.
The Nord Stream 2 project, which plans to use the original Nord Stream pipeline for 86-percent of the route before branching off, could provide up to 55 billion cubic meters of direct gas supplies from Russian shores through the Baltic Sea to the German coast.
Some EU member states, such as Poland and Lithuania, are opposed to the northern gas pipeline due to concerns over European independence in terms of gas supply. However, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated that the realization of the Nord Stream 2 project does not unilaterally increase EU dependency on Russia, but creates interdependence, stressing that “this is what business is about.”