Nord Stream 2: European Union agrees tighter rules for Russian pipeline

Nord Stream 2: European Union agrees tighter rules for Russian pipeline

Nord Stream 2: European Union agrees tighter rules for Russian pipeline

On the eve of the talks, the French Foreign Ministry said that France "intends to support the adoption of such a directive".

Speaking during a visit to Slovakia, Merkel said on February 7 that Nord Stream 2 would not make Germany dependent on Russian Federation for gas "if we diversify at the same time". While Gazprom owns the project, half of its 9.5 billion-euro ($10.8 billion) cost is being financed by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Germany's Uniper SE and Wintershall AG, as well as France's Engie SA and Austria's OMV AG. The 1,200-kilometer (750-mile) undersea pipeline - being constructed by Russia's Gazprom PJSC to bolster German supplies as Norwegian, Dutch and domestic sources dry up - has been pilloried by some of its neighbors and the USA administration.

The current European Union regulations do not apply to pipelines like Nord Stream 2 but if the amendments were adopted, Brussels would gain leverage over the project.

A big priority for the European Union is to increase competition too, and instead of a patchwork of different agreements for pipelines entering the bloc it wants Nord Stream 2 to come under internal European Union rules on transparency and separating ownership of the pipes from the supplier. Under the compromise agreement, Germany will itself be able to determine the rules under which Nord Stream 2 will operate.

At the same time, France changed its position and made a decision to support the proposed amendments despite Germany's objections.

Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russian gas giant Gazprom and several European companies.

But the source said France sought "guarantees for the security of Europe and for the security and stability of Ukraine". Bulgaria would like to receive Russian gas from Turkish Stream, a project similar to Nord Stream 2, and Hungary plans to import Russian gas transiting via Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania.


Opponents of the pipeline worry it will weaken support for Ukraine by depriving Kyiv of gas transit fees along the traditional route for Russian supplies, which fill over a third of the EU's gas needs.

According to the German broadcaster, after fierce United States messages, an important vote in the European Union is up on Friday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel previously refuted claims that the Nord Stream 2 project would make Berlin dependent on Russian Federation by stating that it will not be the case if her country diversifies its energy suppliers.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, cited by Reuters, announced that European states have reached an agreement on the issue of Nord Stream 2.

"Mr Macron also today decided that he wants to try and stop Mrs Merkel's gas pipeline from Moscow. I say "no", if we diversify at the same time", Merkel told a news conference in Bratislava.

Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said they would take up the resolution at their next meeting.

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