BRUSSELS, March 28 (Itar-Tass) — The EU Third Energy Package and issues related to the building of cross-border infrastructure will be considered at a conference on the Russia-EU energy dialogue in the European Parliament. Dmitry Klokov, an adviser to the Russian Minister of Energy, told Itar-Tass that a roundtable discussion on “Strengthening energy cooperation between Russia and the EU” will be held in the Brussels residence of the European Parliament on Wednesday. Reports at the roundtable will be delivered by RF Deputy Minister of Energy Anatoly Yanovsky and European Commission Director-General for Energy Philip Lowe.
“The conference participants will discuss important issues Russia-EU energy cooperation, in particular, the implementation by the EU countries of the Third Energy Package norms, the creation of a constructive regulatory framework for cross-border infrastructure, including the South Stream project, the work on drafting an agreement on ensuring joint operation of the Unified Energy System of Russia and the energy systems of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia in a synchronous mode,” Dmitry Klokov said. “In addition, the meeting participants will discuss ways to improve the reliability and stability of energy supplies to European consumers, in particular, possible measures to create a joint system to ensure reliable gas supply to Europe.”
Taking part in the discussion will also be members of the European Parliament’s relevant committees, in particular, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Elmar Brok, representatives of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, members of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Russia, European Commission officials and diplomats.
The Third Energy package was launched in 2009 and this year it is to finally come into force throughout the EU. It, in particular, provides for the mandatory separation of companies engaged in the production and sale of energy resources and operators of the transport energy infrastructure. The implementation of these legislative norms in practice significantly damages the interests of Russian energy companies. Russia, in particular, seeks to reach an agreement with the EU on a special status for the South Stream project, which would take it out of the jurisdiction of the Third Energy Package, which actually requires the transfer of the future gas pipeline to an operator independent from Gazprom and its European partners – Germany’s Wintershall, France’s EDF and Italy’s ENI.
Moscow and Brussels disagree on the Third Energy package because seeking to divide the producer and transporter the European Commission proceeds from the need to increase competition in the European gas market, to raise its effectiveness and reduce prices in the future. Russia for its part proceeds from the basic economic thesis that the natural gas industry is a natural monopoly, which operates most effectively when the entire production cycle, transportation and final distribution of gas are managed by one company.