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Russia Warns EU Over 'Obstacles' In Constructing Nord Stream 2

10 February 2019

The EU would like to extend its internal market laws to offshore gas pipelines before the construction of the Nord Stream 2 is finished.

"Indeed, there has been an agreement on the gas directive".

France and Germany have struck a compromise allowing Berlin to remain the lead negotiator with Russian Federation on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe, a proposed deal showed Friday.

In a joint op-ed published by Germany's Deutsche Welle, the US ambassadors to Germany, Denmark, and the European Union on February 7 urged EU member states to support the proposed change in the EU regulations.

As well as Germany's Uniper and BASF's Wintershall unit, other European companies have stakes too, including Anglo-Dutch Shell, OMV of Austria and Engie of France.

"The Americans don't want Nord Stream 2 to happen", an adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to be publicly identified, stressing that it was not American pressure that shaped the French position.

France, a pivotal player in the EU gas talks, had said earlier it would support European Union oversight of new offshore energy pipelines, a move that could have crippled plans for the undersea pipeline between Russian Federation and Germany.

Leaving Germany the option whether or not to impose the European Union laws on Nord Stream 2 might mean that Gazprom keeps its full monopoly.

Germany feared that would make the pipeline uneconomic and unviable. Previously, the EU States had agreed on a compromise, after the above Changes to the EU Gas Directive, stricter requirements for the project decided.

A French diplomatic source told AFP that Paris was "not for or against Nord Stream 2".

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in Moscow that Washington was spearheading efforts to undermine fair competition.

Many European countries rely on Russian Federation for natural gas, which makes them susceptible to potentially having their gas supplies cut off. This would give it more control over how the new gas link is used.

The European Parliament also opposes Nord Stream 2. She also slammed proposed changes to the European Gas Directive that Moscow sees as aimed at torpedoing the pipeline project.

German officials were keen Friday to downplay suggestions of a Franco-German rift, arguing that Paris and Berlin have a strong relationship that allows them to resolve differences.

European Union capitals overcame differences on Friday over shared geopolitical concerns that the pipeline would deprive Ukraine of transit fees that are a lifeline of its economy by doubling the amount of gas that could be pumped under the Baltic Sea. The pipeline project will be on the line until the legislation passes.

Western firms invested in the project have so far each financed 600 million euros ($681.00 million) until year's end in what they say is a sign of faith that it will be continued, sources familiar with the matter said.

Russia Warns EU Over 'Obstacles' In Constructing Nord Stream 2