MEP from Germany and European Commission candidate Manfred Weber said in an interview with the Polish edition of Newsweek that the EU has the tools to deal with Nord Stream 2.
“I strongly oppose the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. This is not an economic project at all, but an exclusively political one, it is contrary to the interests of the European Union, therefore we must block it, ”said Weber.
According to him, the project will hit the Ukrainian interests, and in the long term, and gas prices for European countries. At the same time, Weber noted that the EU already has enough ties with Russia.
In support of his words, he stressed that one of the most active supporters of Nord Stream 2 in Europe is Gerhard Schröder, who, as Weber said, is not a businessman, but a politician.
Among the tools that can allow to block the construction of the pipeline, Weber called the EU gas and economic directives.
In November 2017, the European Commission proposed amendments to the EU Gas Directive. They provided for the distribution of the document to the offshore sections of gas pipelines that go to the European Union from third countries.
In February 2019, the EU Council approved a compromise version of the document. By its terms, new and existing gas pipelines from third countries to the European Union in the territorial seas of EU countries will have to comply with certain rules that now apply to land pipelines. Among them – the separation of activities for the extraction and transportation of gas, in which the company can not produce natural gas and at the same time own the pipeline to the EU, through which it is delivered. These rules also include the ability of third parties to pump gas and regulate the rules for setting tariffs.
At the same time, the amendments provide for a number of exceptions to the new rules of the directive, which will be limited in duration.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, commenting on the adoption of the compromise directive, said he wanted to believe those who call the document a victory for common sense. At the same time, he stressed that the Nord Stream – 2 is economically beneficial for all participants.
The Nord Stream – 2 project involves the laying of two gas lines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year along the bottom of the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. A new pipeline is planned to be built near the existing Nord Stream through the territorial waters or the exclusive economic zones of the countries located on the Baltic Sea coast – Russia, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Completion of the gasket is scheduled for the end of 2019.
The project is opposed by the United States, which is actively promoting the idea of exporting its liquefied natural gas to the EU. Ukraine, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, which consider the project political, are also negatively related to the gas pipeline.
The project is being implemented by Nord Stream 2 AG. Gazprom will invest half of the funds, the rest will be provided by European partners: Shell, OMV, Engie, Uniper and Wintershall.
For the construction of Germany stands, emphasizing the commercial orientation of the project. As the Minister of Economy Peter Altmeier noted, Nord Stream 2 will contribute to the stabilization of gas supplies to Europe.
Austria, which is interested in the reliability of gas supplies, also supported the gas pipeline. At the same time, in Vienna, they stressed that the US plans to impose sanctions on the companies participating in the project “raise questions from the point of view of international law.” As the head of the Austrian concern OMV Rainer Seele noted, Moscow has long established itself as a reliable supplier of energy resources.
In addition, the construction is supported by Norway, whose government owns 30 percent of the shares of Kvaerner, one of the contractors.
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