EU Gas Directive de-monopolization rule fully applies to Russian pipeline

Canan Kevser
13 October 2021, 16:38
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen /Archive Photo
Canan Kevser
13 October 2021, 16:38

The European Union Gas Directive fully applies to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline linking Russia to Germany, the president of the European Commission says.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, and Charles Michel, head of the European Council, spoke at a joint news conference in Kyiv on October 12 during a summit with Ukrainian officials including President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Von der Leyen emphasised that the EU Gas Directive, which establishes European gas market rules for all pipelines entering the EU from third countries, including in matters of de-monopolization and third party access to their operation, fully applies to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

"As we have repeatedly stressed, the 2019 Gas Directive, the third Energy Package, fully applies to Nord Stream 2. For the Commission, what is clear is that Ukraine remains and must remain a reliable transit country," the European Commission president said.

The European leaders also reiterated support to continue gas transit via Ukraine after 2024, according to a joint statement issued following the 23rd EU-Ukraine summit.

“We reaffirmed Ukraine's role as a strategic transit country for gas and reiterated our support to continue gas transit via Ukraine beyond 2024,” the document says.

The EU and Ukraine stressed the importance of working together against any potential efforts by third parties to use energy as a weapon, in particular as regards the effects on the sustainability of gas transit through Ukraine.

In December 2018, European Parliament deputies adopted a resolution against the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline by Russia. 433 parliamentarians voted for the document, 105 against.

In December 2019, the U.S. passed legislation providing for sanctions on a ship involved in building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Due to the U.S. sanctions, its construction was suspended.

However, the Russian side, with the consent of the German side, resumed work on its own, using the Fortuna pipe-laying ship. The 1,200 km long gas pipeline worths almost EUR 9.5 billion.

On September 10, Russian gas monopoly Gazprom announced the completion of the gas pipeline built from Russia to Germany bypassing Ukraine on the bottom of the Baltic Sea. The only shareholder in the project is Gazprom. The pipeline is currently awaiting certification by the German regulator.

The United States opposes the project, arguing that it will strengthen the Kremlin's grip on the European energy market while undermining Ukraine's security and economy.