Media: Nord Stream 2 might take the EU to court

Nord Stream 2 has sent a letter to the EU, warning that the union could face a lawsuit if the much-discussed gas pipeline is not exempted from a new directive, reports Politico.
Photo: Peter Hove Olesen/Ritzau Scanpix
Photo: Peter Hove Olesen/Ritzau Scanpix

The EU could be facing a new lawsuit if Nord Stream 2 is not exempted from a new EU directive, reports Politico.

In a letter dated April 12, Nord Stream 2 AG Chief Executive Matthias Warnig sent the EU a warning.

According to Politico, applying the directive to Nord Stream 2 would constitute discrimination against the company's investors and could thereby violate an international treaty.

The directive sets gas pipelines from third-party countries under EU jurisdiction. This means, for instance, that Nord Stream 2 must comply with price transparency regulation, grant pipeline capacity access to third parties and accept restrictions on how much capacity the owner is able to reserve.

Nord Stream 2 AG is concerned that the directive will have negative consequences for the project, in which the company claims it has invested EUR 5.8 billion.

The dispute revolves around a definition of whether the project can be considered "completed" when the directive enters force this summer.

The company insists that this should be the case, however, the EU's definition would require the pipeline to have entered commercial operation at the time.

Several more obstacles

The pipeline will traverse around 1,230 kilometers from Russia to Germany, and the new directive would apply to the approximately 54 kilometer section along Germany territorial waters.

This, however, is not the only obstacle.

Nord Stream 2 has long been surrounded by political discussions, and Wednesday this week, the conservative EPP group's leading candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Manfred Weber, announced that he opposed the pipeline and, if successful with his nomination, will try to block the project.

Regardless, there are many indications that the project will not be completed on time.

The original plan was for Nord Stream 2 to be commissioned before the end of 2019. This will most likely not be the case, as the company has been obliged to explore a third routing around Danish territorial waters due to a demand from the country's energy regulator.

Russian media Kommersant reported that this could delay the project by up to six months.

English Edit: Daniel Frank Christensen

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