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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Brussels says it is unable to stop Nord Stream 2: report

22.09.2021 15:00
The European Commission has said the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has received all the necessary construction permits and nothing can be done by Brussels to stop its completion, a Polish website has reported.
Pipes for the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline lie in storage at the German port of Mukran at the end of last year.
Pipes for the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline lie in storage at the German port of Mukran at the end of last year.Photo: PAP/Stefan Sauer/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

However, the new gas link will be subject to European Union regulations once it is up and running, the EU's executive arm said in a statement, according to the energetyka24.com website.

The Commission made the statement in reply to a question by Anna Fotyga, a Polish member of the European Parliament, energetyka24.com reported.

Fotyga, who is a MEP with Poland's ruling conservatives Law and Justice (PiS), wanted to know how Brussels would make Nord Stream 2 comply with the EU’s so-called Third Energy Package, and in what way the Commission was supporting calls by member states, the European Parliament and the bloc’s strategic partners, to block the controversial pipeline.

In a response, shared with Poland’s PAP news agency, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said Brussels had repeatedly pointed out that Nord Stream 2 would not make the EU any more secure in terms of energy supply, and that the pipeline would not help diversify the bloc’s sources of energy, energetyka24.com reported.

However, Simson added, as quoted by the Polish website, that the Commission was seeking to make the pipeline comply with EU law and that the certification of Nord Stream 2 in any of the member countries through which it passes, required a positive opinion issued by Brussels.

Simon said Brussels was unable to unilaterally stop the pipeline’s construction as the project had obtained all the necessary national permits, according to energetyka24.com.

The website quoted Simon as saying that a decision to halt Nord Stream 2 would have to be made at member-state level.

Meanwhile, Russia’s state-run energy giant Gazprom, which is set to operate Nord Stream 2, has announced that, despite plans, the link will not be launched on October 1, as some licenses still had to be obtained from the German regulator.

These permits could be granted in early 2022, Russia’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov has said, according to the Polish website.

A German regional court last month ruled against exempting Nord Stream 2 AG, the owner of the controversial gas pipeline, from the provisions of the EU's Third Energy Package, according to a report at the time.

Designed to link Russia with Germany under the Baltic Sea, the new pipeline is expected to carry 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year, but is being opposed by Poland, Ukraine, the Baltic states and the United States.

Critics say Nord Stream 2 will deepen Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and boost Moscow’s influence in European politics.

Washington in July greenlighted the completion of the project on the condition that Germany would impose sanctions in the event of hostile action by Russia, among other provisos, news outlets have reported.

Senior lawmakers from Poland, the United States and seven other countries issued a joint statement to slam Nord Stream 2 after the US-German deal earlier this summer.

The new pipeline gives Russia a chance to destabilize NATO, a Polish security official warned in the wake of the agreement between Washington and Berlin.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said in late July that the US-German deal posed a risk to the security of a large portion of Europe.

Meanwhile, a Polish business website recently reported that Europe could face a supply crisis amid high demand for natural gas and record high prices.

Cassim Mangerah, managing director at British Gas owner Centrica, has said that a prolonged or particularly cold winter could send gas prices even higher, the biznesalert.pl website reported.

(pm/gs)

Source: energetyka24.com