Senate committee to consider resolution against Nord Stream 2 pipeline

Lester Mason
February 10, 2019

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been highly controversial since its announcement in 2015 and the U.S. has spent years attempting to derail the pipeline into Europe.

In the dispute over the Nord Stream gas pipeline 2 has been approved by the European Union member States a German-French compromise. The agreement empowers Berlin as the key negotiator with Russian Federation on the pipeline project and guarantees that any rules will be applied by the "territory and territorial sea of the member state where the first interconnection point is located".

Representatives of the EU's 28 nations endorsed a last ditch German and French proposal to amend some of the language of the new rules on how to regulate the pipeline project. According to one of the diplomats, the two-state pact was approved nearly unanimously.

An EU source said earlier that France's vote would be decisive, likely leaving Germany short of a blocking minority.

Chancellor Angela Merkel hailed the vote as an example of Berlin's close ties with Paris after the two major European powers, which both have firms invested in the project, were publicly at odds ahead of the EU meeting.

The Russian-German pipeline is being built under the Baltic Sea to deliver gas directly to Germany for further distribution across Europe, increasing the route's capacity over what already flows through the first Nord Stream pipeline.

According to the French representation of the compromise provides for a two-stage procedure: The first responsibility for Pipelines with third countries such as Russian Federation spent in the EU country where the line for the first time on the European network hits, BelTA learned from the environment of the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.

Eastern European countries like Poland and Ukraine oppose the project because they say it specifically bypasses their territories.

Peskov accused Washington of "underhanded competition" by trying to encourage Europeans "to buy more expensive American gas".

"Do we become dependent on Russian Federation because of this second gas pipeline?"

The proposed new regulations would give the European Commission considerable leverage over Nord Stream 2, if they are adopted.

"It will challenge a certain number of project parameters which will have to provide transit guarantees via Ukraine as well as transit through Slovakia", an official said.

The draft compromise reportedly addressed the concerns, saying: "We consider a (gas rules) directive in this spirit indispensable for a fruitful discussion on the future gas transit through Ukraine".

Merkel has so far insisted that the pipeline is a "purely economic project" that will ensure cheaper, more reliable gas supplies. She said this on Friday, February 8, in Berlin.

While Gazprom owns the project, half of its 9.5 billion-euro ($10.8 billion) cost is being financed by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Germany's Uniper SE and Wintershall AG, as well as France's Engie SA and Austria's OMV AG.

Russian President Vladimir Putin blocked the flow of gas to neighbours a year ago and has done so previously in 2006, 2009 and 2014.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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